It’s been seventeen days since I found myself in the company of the sodden vagrant that is unemployment (note: the company I was ‘let go’ from plans to send twenty customers on an all expenses paid trip to a pointless convention, costing roughly $10k per person. If they sent eighteen instead, they’d retain enough money to pay me for one calendar year. But, you know, whatever.) I went back home the day after to get a haircut and meet my niece for the first time, but she was kind of boring, as most one month olds are; so, I hung out with my other one, whose has hair like curled sunshine and eyes bluer than the sky. The next time it’s sunny in spring look at the sky and that’s almost how blue they are. F’real.

We read Where the Wild Things Are three times. The first time she just sat there and followed my voice on the page. The second time she roared along with the wild things and I replaced Max’s name with her own. The third time she turned the pages at will and still exclaimed surprise, with an unbelieving grin, that his supper was still warm. Then she stuck stickers on their corresponding shapes with surprising accuracy.

I spent a solid hour jumping on her enclosed trampoline and double bouncing her and hearing her laugh with her whole body, the kind of chuckle that makes your entire being warm and tingly because something so joyful exists. We’d throw around a spiked rubber ball and pretend it hurt so badly when it rolled into either of us. And after I couldn’t understand how a 2-year-old tired me out so much.

When I got back to Melbourne, I tried job-hunting but my efforts have been relaxed at best. Inside my mind, the list of places to apply seemed endless but once on the tram I thought twice about all of them, and in most cases I bailed. So my daily routine over the last fortnight has mainly involved sitting at my desk and wanting so badly to write but with little result. Fuck.

I knew I’d have all this time on my hands, seeing as the time span between giving a resume to receiving a call is at least a week, and I knew it’d be a perfect time to write. Day long peace, ample food supplies and coffee, incense to relax, some ideas in need of inky manifestation: the things required for some solid writing days, right? Wrong, in my case.

Three things distracted me: 1. my new phone; 2. the Internet, predominantly listening to the Red Sox broadcast when it’s on, and reading my RSS feed; and 3. books, which are the most deviant of distractions and cause way too much procrastination. Hmph. (There may have been some SNES thrown in there too).

But that’s the easy way out. The truth is I find it horribly daunting having all this time to write. You tell yourself you should be able to whip out a short story or two every few days, maybe a poem, and have a plethora of material to submit to whatever mag is asking for it. But you get distracted and start hating on the yet-to-be-written short story lounging at the edge of your desk that points to its timepiece and says ‘tick-tock, swine; I’m not going to write myself, you know.’ So you tell it to sod off and check Words with Friends or try to find something to snap with Instagram or make a coffee. Grrr.

(Having said all that, I have one story going, which I’ve been writing the whole time. The problem is it’s blown out to 6000 words and counting. Who the hell will accept that, even if it is any good?)

Perhaps, the problem is inspiration. Being cooped up all day doesn’t really help launching any creative endeavours. Does anybody else feel this kind of repression? Do you find when you have time to write that you waste it needlessly? (Please answer in the comments, as I want to know I’m not alone, or at least that I am and need to harden the fuck up).

Maybe this whole deal is a hangover from uni days when everything was written the night before, so I write furiously just before bed or before work and, without fail, run out of time. (This post began before I had to go fill in at a café for 150 minutes; case in point? probably).

Whether it be lack of inspiration or conditioning from study, my horrible work ethic needs to be rectified. But I do take some solace in the advice ‘don’t try’ (Bukowski, his tombstone, 1994). I guess I’ll just go do some writing exercises, or something, until I’m inspired. Hurrah for answers.

SDH

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