Taking Out the Trash: A Writer’s Life
This morning, while doing cardio in a state somewhere between comatose and half-awake, I noticed the large trash bins in the garage needed to be taken out. I should add that the stationary bike is in the garage as well so one doesn’t go about trying to think I have some sort of x-ray vision. My vision is enhanced, by glasses. Without them, I can see maybe 10′ clearly. Anyway, back to the trash bins. They should’ve been taken out last week, but I forgot at the time, and then never quite got around to them. I read some tweets on my Blackberry as my blood started pumping, and I awakened fully. For some folks, it’s caffeine. For me, it’s exercise. I glanced at the clock, and then at the bins again. They looked heavy, but they were overflowing with trash. The guys come over for a weekly game, and I’ve been lax in getting it out lately, so there are a number of dead soldiers poking their heads up through paper bags and styrofoam cups, and a few soldiers were encamped around the trash bin base in what looked like an invasion into other territories. Let me explain: I don’t mind doing manual labor, and the trash in the house goes out like clockwork a few times a week–don’t get the feeling that I’m living trailer-park style–but the garage is its own space, and these trash bins are some one of my brothers got as a good idea, and I think they began life at Home Depot as giant planters. They are big and round and look like they weigh a ton (if not fifty pounds), so they aren’t something you look at and think, I’ll just run that right out. You look at them, recall ancient Egypt, and wish you had a whip and about twenty guys to roll it out to the garbage can outside and dump it for you. But it’s not ancient Egypt, and even if it was, I’d probably be one of the guys on the wrong side of the whip. However, I limbered up this morning, intent on getting these BINS OF DOOM out to the road, even if the act laid me up for a week. I went over to the first one, braced myself for some weight, and lifted it right up. It only appeared to be heavy. (I know this because I left my Belt of Ogre Strength in the house, otherwise, I’d be more dubious.) I took them both out in rapid succession, and felt, at least for a moment, that all was right in the world.
You may wonder what any of this has to do with writing? Did I just suddenly pop back up after all this time to tell you a silly, useless anecdote about Man’s Struggle vs His Nature? Of course not. I realized that taking out the trash is a lot like writing. Not the words that are written, but more the process itself. You see, your brain is this bin, and it gets filled with all these thoughts and if you don’t clean it out every once in awhile, then it is going to overflow to the point where you are paralyzed and the only action is inaction. The prospect of putting words on paper can be so daunting that you daren’t pick up the bin and type things out. (Oh, I think I just dated myself with the typewriter references there, and I mentioned paper too. Oh, ye Luddites understand.) Anyway, if you just get going and pick up the bin, you’ll realize it’s not so heavy after all, and if you stay at it regularly and consistently, the dead soldiers won’t try to take over the rest of your brain either.
After this early morning epiphany, I realized I should restart The Razorwise Report, my personal section of the company website, and regale you with this tale of triumph and conquest that all began with taking out the trash.
I’m going to make an honest effort to update the RWR a lot more frequently, because even if no one reads it, I think I need it, at least for now.