Birds of a feather

By FC Robinson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By FC Robinson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’m suddenly awakened by the deliberate plunking of a piano blues riff: Daah duh duh duh dhaaam…daah duh duh duh dhaaam. 

“Cut it out, N’awlins,” I yell out in a raspy voice.  “Yuh hear”?

The rhythm continues to crescendo from across the room.  Daah duh duh duh dhaaam…daah duh duh duh dhaaam.  I yell out again, “That you, Money Fatts”?

My wife is not amused at my early-morning attempt at humor.

In one swift motion I swing my body off the bed, pulling half the entwined sheet and comforter combination with me until it’s tugged back into place like a rubber band.  I take a few clumsy steps in the dark, feeling for the top of my tall mahogany-stained dresser with outstretched arms, and retrieve my phone from the charger to silence the troublesome “blues riff” alarm tone.

The air in the room is brisk and cool.  About sixty-six degrees, I suspect.  I hate January; we really should move to Florida one of these days.

It’s nearly five o’clock on a Tuesday and I have just one hour to devote to writing and related research for the day before showering, dressing, and leaving for work.  I need to make this hour count!

I throw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, feed the cat a small portion of his morning breakfast to keep him quiet, and bump up the thermostat.  Click, click, click, ker-plunk, ker-plunk, whooooosh.  The burners fire and warm air begins to flow throughout the house.

I finally head into the family room where I sit down at my laptop to start writing.  The room is dark, as I’ve deliberately kept off the lights sans for the glow of the laptop LCD at the head of the table.  The daily self-interrogation begins.  Do I dive right into writing, or do I check my Twitter feed first to see what new insights were posted by my writing friends?  Maybe I’ll tweet the word count of my current WIP?  Or maybe I’ll comprise a romanticized tweet to impress others with my dedication to the craft at five o’clock in the morning? 

I log into Twitter and take a moment to skim my feed.

That woman is a machine…was she really awake two hours ago to comprise a tweet about her WIP? 

There’s this guy again…why did he re-post that same article he posted just yesterday afternoon?

I swear this woman…best-selling author of nineteen novels I’ve never heard of…must have six identical Twitter accounts!

I put my hand on the crown of my head, feeling to see if the thin spot has gotten any worse from the day earlier.  I slump back into my chair.

Coffee.  I need coffee!  I walk into the kitchen and brew myself a cup of Keurig.  The aroma of sweetened espresso shifts throughout the room when the forced-air blower kicks on for a second time.  This will surely wake her up.

Returning to my chair at the table, I see fourteen new tweets are available to me.  Three are duplicates, two are advertisements.

It’s now ten minutes to six, and I realize I’ve squandered yet another potentially-productive writing morning with no substantial benefit.

With the push of the mouse, a small arrow glides to the upper-right corner of my screen.  Account… Settings… Deactivate My Account.  Complete.

If I want to be a writer, I need to actually write, I think to myself as I snap shut the lid to my laptop.  Tomorrow’s another day.

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11 thoughts on “Birds of a feather

  1. I feel your pain.

  2. You can practice writing on Twitter–but you have to write. 140 characters. More of a challenge than it sounds.

    Enjoyed your journey.

  3. I’ve never understood the allure of Twitter; I barely understand Facebook. But I have my own distractions and hate seeing the clock (how did it get so late?) and knowing another writing opportunity was wasted by my lollygagging.

  4. If I were nearby, I would pat you kindly on the shoulder and mutter soothing words, “There, there, it’s going to be all right.” ~sigh~ I go through the same thing myself. Except I decided to get rid of twitter, I’m too boring to think of anything witty to say. It took me three days to think this up 🙂

    • Lyn, that’s exactly what I did, too. I’m no longer on Twitter. While there were some great folks to follow, I found it interfered too much with my writing journey.

  5. By luck, yesterday I listened to Stever Robbins’ “Get-It-Done Guy” podcast, specifically episode #263 Working the Low Tech Way. Stever talks a bit about how we’re more distracted these days in completing our work due to our digital environment. I smiled at the timeliness and how it related to my post. Here’s the transcript for those interested:

    http://getitdone.quickanddirtytips.com/working-the-low-tech-way.aspx

  6. When I used to work in an office, I had my routine of “get up at oh-dark-thirty (4:37am), hit the gym, stop at Starbucks, then get to the office by 6:30am. I then had an hour and a half before the mind-sucking day job kicked in, the phone calls and emails started being “urgent” and the other realities of day jobs set in. I spent that time writing. A full, solid hour, every day of writing or editing or simply reading what I already wrote on a given piece.

    When I got laid off and ultimately started working from home and for myself… this changed to some degree and the extra hour and a half got soaked up by home stuff and/or the children’s needs and/or work. Most of the time I think working from home is great; but when it comes down to routines and keeping things balanced between work/life/home, it isn’t always optimal.

  7. I’ve been out of the loop for a while…just want to say I like the new look!

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