It’s after four in the morning on Friday and for the second night now I’m sitting in front of my computer watching YoutTube videos with the notorious feline stalker, Pawpurrazzi. From the safety of her perch on my shoulder, together we behold the wonders of funny cat videos, Oprah Winfrey interviews, and clips expounding on everything from the success of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, to racism in Switzerland, to the barely-remembered and very outdated music videos of Lita Ford. I especially can’t explain that final choice of entertainment except to say I think Stalker Kitty has developed a great fascinated respect for Lita’s ’80s bouffant, so of course – as any half-decent kitty guardian would do – I have to let her keep watching.
But that is neither here nor there.
The point is, it’s been another sleepless night which might have been spent doing more constructive things, but alas, was not. Usually, the degree of self-loathing I experience when I waste time this way would send me into a dizzying spiral from which I can barely pull myself out of, but tonight was different. It was different because, tonight, as I watched with glazed-over eyes while Oprah awarded each audience member with a ‘brand new totally redesigned, 2012 Volkswagen Beetle!’… I was able to (as we so often are in the idle moments) get to the core of what’s really bothering me.
It is nothing as interesting as Volkswagens or Oprah that have me buzzing till the wee hours… nor is it a sudden addiction to funny cat videos (although I do believe I may be teetering on that one), and no, not even Lita Ford’s hair – or her shiny black leotards for that matter – are responsible for my unfortunate state of awareness at this hour. These things, I’ve determined, are just new ways I’ve discovered in which to distract myself. And I am distracting myself because I’m trying to figure out how I am going to get done all of the things that need getting done.
The past couple of days have presented me with some writing opportunities that, while truly awesome, are a little scary. These new ventures in and of themselves are in no way unpleasant or foreboding, but coupled with the plans which have already spoken for a good deal of 2014 (Grandma’s Rack and the erotic serial, Belinda, with Tamara Thorne, plus my solo project The White Room – which just really needs to get done), it’s overwhelming.
I should be thrilled and I won’t lie: I am. These are the things of daydreams… these are things you don’t say no to. These are things that could lead to many other wonderful things. But… these are also things I’m not sure I can fit into my already filled-to-overflowing, seemingly endless to-do list, and – needless to say – I spent a lot of quiet time doing some heavy mental filing, organizing, planning, plotting, and prioritizing. I also spent a lot of time on the phone today hashing out plans with a lot of different people. I assumed I had made peace with the rigor of my new schedule, but apparently, I had not.
One of the people I spoke to was my collaborator. Tamara is far better than I am in these situations, and as several of these projects include her, I was grateful to have someone with which to construct a strategy. We started at the beginning and planned out the best method in which to proceed, keeping ourselves open, of course, to the possibility that things can – and often do – change. The good news is that we concluded it was possible. It will require the sacrifice of something I already feel a great shortage of, and that is time. But it can be done. I just have to remind myself of that.
After talking to Tamara, I made some other calls. I re-arranged things, I confirmed things, I straightened some things out, and I called some things off… and in the course of about 24 hours, I came to an entirely new understanding of the way things are… and of how hard I’m going to have to work for this.
But it can be done…
The hardest part, I think, is the realization that the lackadaisical age of joy-writing is basically over. That isn’t to say I don’t love writing. It isn’t even to say I won’t enjoy it. I will. Profoundly. But the days of I-just-don’t-feel-like-writing-right-now are gone… at least for a while.
I remind myself that I’m very lucky, though. I have great support from all directions. I have the resources I need to do this and I’m not at all alone. I have an absolutely wonderful collaborator who knows this drill, and has the unprecedented ability to tranquilize my fits of frenzy and white-knuckled, hand-wringing (though rarely-occurring) dithers. I realize that as overwhelming as this might all be, it will also be very exciting and very prosperous for me. I will do my best…
And on that note, I think it’s time to say goodnight to Oprah, X out of YouTube, detach Stalker Kitty from my shoulder, and hit the hay. I’ll wake up tomorrow… and I will begin. It’s going to be a busy year with plenty of deadlines and a fair share of frustration, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun… and if I do this right, I know I’ll be very glad I did.
This is what I wanted, and I never really expected it to be easy. And I don’t think it’s going to be very easy at all.
But it can be done…
And so it will.