Thursday, July 11, 2013


So I’m trying this new thing where I get up early in the morning to write. And boy do I hate it.

I mean, this really sucks. I’ve never gotten up earlier than I wanted to play video games, so you can imagine how motivated I was to get up and do something significantly more mentally taxing and less fun.

But I’m a writer dammit! I should be fully embracing this time, treasuring every opportunity I have to sit down in front of my computer and create art with words. Ooh, would you look at that - “art words” (or “word art”, if you prefer) could be another name for writing. Wow. Has anyone made that incredibly stupid observation before? Do you see how my brain isn’t even fully awake yet?! I’m making a terrible mistake.


Now, in order to get myself up and writing I made myself a deal. I’m allowed to basically spend this entire god-awful early morning writing time complaining how much I hate that I’m writing this early in the morning. And whatever other tangents await me.

So let’s talk about the things I’d rather be doing right now. It’s a pretty short list, to be honest. 

1) Sleeping

   1a) While sleeping, dreaming about discovering my latent flying/mind control/time travel powers finally activating, and becoming a superhero.
   1b) While sleeping, dreaming about canoodling with Christina Hendricks, who has a secret fetish for short bald guys. Post-canoodle I realize my latent flying/mind control/time travel powers have finally activated, and I become a superhero - telling Christina Hendricks she’s the only one can know my secret. 

   1c) Mid-sleeping, waking up, looking at the clock, saying to myself “Hah! I don’t have to be up this early!” then immediately going back to sleep.

You know, I bet Steinbeck didn’t struggle like this. I bet he would easily rise up out of his old timey bed (which was cushioned with hay or something) as soon as he heard the rooster crow. Then he casually make his way over to his old timey desk, sit down with a quill and some parchment, and say to himself: “might as well shove out a few chapters of East of Eden before I have my morning D.R.” That smug bastard! Oh, and in case you didn’t know, ‘D.R.’ was slang for ‘Depression-era Ration’. Inside the breakfast D.R. was a dry packet of oats you were forbidden to combine with anything else because those were some hard times.

"Actually, I started writing around 5:00am." "Screw you Steinbeck!"
But hey, forget that. Steinbeck actually had a huge advantage over me, one I have every right to complain about. See, he didn’t have the neurons in his brain altered while he was growing up by countless hours of television, video games and the internet. He didn’t have to work against all the distractions I’m showing incredible resolve not giving into right now. I’m knee deep into this game The Last Of Us. I’ve got the fate of the game’s characters weighing on my mind as well as the mentally complex skillset I’ve had to learn in order to take down hordes of fungus-filled undead. What the heck did John Steinbeck have to distract him from writing? Hunger? Poverty? High infant mortality rates? C’mon!

Lord knows I’ve tried evening (wait, that’s not right. Even-ning? My 7:00am brain can't make heads or tails of these kinds of problems) the playing field. But it’s still not enough. I’ve tried for a long time to build up my own natural discipline, but I think I’m going about it the wrong way. I need to lean into what my brain wants and is used to at this point, rather than resisting it. If I’m going to keep doing this more than just today, I’m going to need some hardcore ego validation. I’m talking likes, favorites, retweets, +1’s, and even better, MEGA-UPS which don’t exist yet as far as I know but totally should for things like this (and to be clear, not for stuff like baby or engagement announcements - those are self-validating enough already). But that’s not all. In fact, I’m only just getting started.

To get me out of bed in the first place, I want there to be a sensual-sounding woman’s voice to wake me up. This sensual-sounding voice should belong to a princess (or the societal equivalent) who is proclaiming that she desperately needs my help to save her kingdom, (or village, or time period) and that only an amazing writer like me is up for the task. My brain is not nearly functional enough right now to come up with a reason explaining how a writer could possibly save a kingdom/village/time period (start with like, I dunno, an enchanted pen?), so that’ll be someone else’s job. But the details are important here, as lip service will only lessen my resolve. It should be a well written, Steinbeck-worthy plot that gets me to get back to my own writing. Note that it can’t be so great that I find myself wondering if I could ever come up with a story that tantalizing. At that point I might just crawl back into bed forever.

I’ll also need dramatic music playing while I write to add some stakes. Dr. Wily’s Theme from Mega Man 2 should be playing on loop, sung by this guy if possible, with added lyrics involving my struggle. Something like:

It’s time for writing, it’s time for writing, yes it is
It’s time for writing, yes inde-eed
It’s time for writing by Matt Shafe-eek
A master scribe who will survive...this pain!

Every sentence I write should be accompanied by alternating manly cheers and sexy lady moans. A point value should be counting up with every word in the corner of my laptop screen, and once I’ve hit my writing goal for the morning, cheers erupt from all around me, and I’m given an opportunity to strike a pose while the Super Castlevania IV victory theme plays. Baaa-ba-ba-ba-badaba-ba-ba-ba!

My accumulated points will be counted and can be used to leveling up my writing-related abilities such as dialogue, character descriptions, and conjugations. Yes, I know my writing will naturally progress as I spend more time doing it, but game designers have clearly perfected the formula for a sense of growth. Numbers filling up number tanks, topping off with fanfare, and getting to see my talent definitively improve rather than having to...I dunno, just somehow sense it would definitely get me just as hooked on writing as I have on every RPG I’ve ever played.

You know what? I'm going to put all my points into Erotica.
So that’s what I need to feel properly motivated to write first thing in the morning. Someone please get on setting all that up. I’m just gonna go rest my eyes in the meantime.


PS: If any of the above doesn't make any sense, you can't hold any of it against me. 7:00am brain.

PPS: Full disclosure: this was written over the course of several 7:00am morning writing sessions. But always way too early in the morning. So continue to not hold any of it against me.

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