When Reading Hogs Writing’s Sun and Water

plantIronically, though I hold most technology at arm’s length, I’ve completely given myself over to the habit of writing on keyboards vs. paper. Even poetry, which some people say begs paper and #2 pencil.

Yes, in the middle of the day I can scribble lines that come to mind on paper so they don’t escape and head for the border, but overall, I am most comfortable with keyboard and screen — the pizza and beer, cookies and milk, oil and vinegar of writing.

Problem? Simple. The same tool used to write is used to read. Specifically the monitor I’m watching now as my fingers do their autonomous dance on the keyboard below (a miracle unto itself, for simple minds like mine!).

I write best in the early morning, but I leave for work so early (6 to 6:15 a.m.) that I can shoehorn little writing time before then, especially if it is my responsibility to walk the dog in the dark, to make the coffee, and, of course, to attend to the routines of shower and shave.

And then there’s this: I have a bad habit of “reading a bit” before I begin to write. I boot up my machine and read some dreadful news from the Boston Globe and the New York Times. I check some late-night scores (and they’re all late-night because that’s when gluttonous sports cable channels get maximum advertiser dollars, viewers on the east coast be damned). I quick-check email and Goodreads for updates.

Bad, bad, bad. I need to boot up and go to Word, new document (or yesterday’s document). Do that and do that only. Thus, I must make my existing morning routine my new late afternoon routine. My after school decompress time routine.

It’s a goal, anyway. That means I must be en garde for “writing” like this, too. Figuring I can dig deep into creative stuff (poetry), I’m here now at 5:23 a.m. (only minutes to spare!) writing this blog. That’s not what I have in mind.

So tomorrow it’s a go. And hopefully a beginning. As the Pope would say (to John Boehner, of all people): “Pray for me.”


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