I am the Justification Queen. While I admit I accomplish a decent amount, I have ever-ready excuses when I fall short. For ages, having five children let me off the hook for lots of stuff; no time to deep-clean the house when there are diapers to be changed and homework to check!! Nowadays, I glance around my still unsterilized surroundings and realize that, with my youngest child age 27, it’s probably time for a different excuse. And I promise you, I WILL find one. Wait, got it! My live-in grandsons!! They’re only 5 and 7, so that buys me at least another decade of good excuses for a little grime. Whew!
For the past 20 years, my full-time job at Christ’s Lutheran Church has been the justification for scads of writing and submitting that didn’t happen. Thursday, my day off, was my main writing day. That, along with some very early morning sessions, summed up all the time I had to pen my deathless prose. No wonder that novel never happened--I was busy! Never mind the stories of prolific authors who are also doctors, lawyers, etc. Those people are just weird, right? And probably not very plugged in to their main jobs either! Would you want your appendix removed by a poet who is figuring out rhyme and meter in his head, and paying no attention to the location of your organs? I didn’t think so.
Well, now here we are. I’m 10 days from retirement. My Big Excuse will soon disappear, and then I will have all day, every day, to be a writer. My friend Rochelle is a writing coach, and her slogan is “'Maybe Someday’ Becomes Write Now!” I know, Rochelle, I know. But I really like living in the world of Maybe Someday! In that enchanted land dwells, for example, my solo show, which I’ve been yakking about doing for years. Except for one course I took last year (which was really inspirational, and I was briefly inspired), and two short stand up gigs, I have made zero progress on getting a one woman show written and produced. Guess I actually have to DO this thing now? But I'd prefer it still existing as a smash hit in my dreams!
For the past eight months, since I gave my notice at church, I’ve been blithely telling people that I’m not a bit concerned about getting enough writing work. And there truly are a great many opportunities out there, especially with the exploding digital media scene. So why, now that my last day at CLC is imminent, do I clearly envision Monday, May 23rd as a day, not of tremendous literary output, but instead a day of panic and a blank computer screen? By Tuesday the 24th, will I be sleeping late, then binging on Netflix series? But I’ve been sleep deprived for decades, and all that TV is great writing research!
Nope! MY new slogan: “No Excuses!”
Yes, that’s more like it.