I write. I get obsessed with a word, love it, hate it… want to change it for a deeper impacting synonym. I use my Word Thesaurus. Not enough. Go online, to the vast fields of knowledge. Find the myriad of substitutes with subtle undertones… but wait, there is a test: “How good is your knowledge of (insert subject matter here)”. And of course, I take it. But there is another, and another…
Where I’m going with this?
Oh yeah, procrastination. I have elevated it to a form of art, a superpower… a bad one, but still. The most important aspect is to be self-aware. No more than ten minutes lost on fact-checking, absolutely no Facebook until I see a page of (sensical) writing. Leisure browsing of social media is a reward, not a necessity. Despite what my jonesing for it mind says.
Yet, there is the flip side. One does need a palate cleanser every hour or so, else one’s brain begins to whirr with that god-awful sound my (10yr old) computer makes when overheating. It’s truly terrible. I always fear it will never start anew…
I digress. I’m good at that. Then there are my characters, so alive and vibrant.
I’m deep into a scene, trying to convey some pertinent information via dialogue, and then—whoa!—I’ve written two pages of witty banter. Yes, very funny… very not on the subject. Sigh. My heart won’t let me erase it all, so I justify the twenty percent I allow to continue existing as personality reveal. Little glimpses into the soul of Freddy, Johnny, Astrid[*].
The dark side? The super power’s polar opposite? Fingers flying over keyboard, ideas flowing onto the page, hunger pangs ignored, crick in the neck ignored, bathroom breaks ignored to the last possible moment. The darkest comes with the live creatures around me ignored – family, friends, pets…potted plants. Like a curmudgeon troll I growl and snipe at every interruption, grunt my yes or no’s, eyes glued to the glowing screen. Finally, I surface, and it’s daybreak, I have been at it for over sixteen hours without pause, and in that time I have become the villain of my own real life.
With great power… and so on. And just like a super hero, I curb my ability so I can function, try not to let it consume me.
I shut down my computer and crank up my super power, the procrastination. Do some laundry, take a two-hour walk with my dog, make a jam with my Mom. Fruit jam; it’s that time of the year.
To all my superheroes and superheroines of the pen and paper, do use your powers wisely and do not view them as bad habits. Or good habits. They are like salt.
Vital. With moderation.
Share your Superpower of the Mundane in the comments below.
[*] Names have been changed to protect fictional characters’ fictional sensibilities.