I spent the day yesterday transcribing a story I’d written by hand into my laptop for editing. It’s one that’s been kicking around for months, lingering across two notebooks because it’s more fun to start something new than to sit like a chained monkey copying something old. It was a boring thing to do, and I cursed myself the whole time.
Why in the world did I write it longhand in the first place? What was I thinking?
It’s because shoving a notebook into my bag is easier than lugging a laptop. And it’s unthinkable not to have something to work on, on my person, at all times.
Maybe it’ll help my writing practice. Maybe it’ll see me locked away in a mental hospital. Either way, I’m incapable of just…sitting.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but the idea of wasting all that time just copying when I could have been editing or writing drives me nuts. I was only transcribing, to make sure I was getting all those scribbles down. I didn’t have the tv or radio on. No headphones. It just felt wrong. I mean, it takes all I have to sit with company and only be talking. My hands fidget, wanting to be loosed and typing something or knitting something, or…
I don’t think of it as a deficit. It’s not that I can’t focus, or retain, it’s that doing one thing isn’t enough. How people sit and just watch tv, I will never understand. Being at the beach in Hawaii, as beautiful as it was, nearly killed me with boredom until I caved in and read a book.
I don’t think it makes me better than other people; it makes me more neurotic, that’s for sure. That’s good for art, right?
If I could write while I worked my day job, with headphones blaring, I think I’d be a much happier person.
What about you? What are your weird little quirks?