Try Harder

It’ll come down to having a schedule. That will be key. That will be the key.

Gretchen isn’t here tonight and if things go as planned she won’t be here often in the future and I need to prepare. For the lonely nights. I told her I don’t get lonely anymore, I just get alone, and that’s true. I haven’t been lonely for a moment since we’ve been together, but loneliness is a terrifying thing and best let’s not underestimate it. It may and likely will return.

From four years ago:

I want words. I would give over the whole of my body to tattooed words if only I knew the right ones. There are steps in Denney Hall on the Ohio State campus leading up to the third floor where the writing workshop is held, and about five steps from the top, it says “Try Harder” in graffiti script on the vertical step front. I loved seeing that, going into that workshop twice a week, half the time feeling defeated by the world, like a bad writer, like I should’ve done more for the writers being workshopped that week, like I just wasn’t good enough. It’s one of the few instances in my life where positive thinking seemed to pay dividends. Every last time I saw it, I felt better. I felt agency. I felt as if I had a small measure of control, the way I always always always take the stairs and eschew the elevator whenever possible, I have choices, and if I don’t make the lazier choice, eventually I’ll see results from that added effort . . .

The thing that gets me still, my weakness, as motivated as I feel during the day, is when I come home at night and [my roommate is] here and he’s drinking and smoking and I know I’m done for the day, I know I’m not doing any more work for the night. And then I throw away the next day, as a recovery day. I release too hard. It’s a chickenshit thing to do, to give up like that, to lose my focus on who I want to be . . . And when the person you are is no one you want to be, you can either face that and change it, or you can try to forget yourself for awhile . . . I want desperately for bravery. Be braver. Put that on my wrist, maybe I can remember it.

Today, I’ve been alone since 3:30 and didn’t do half of what I wanted. The reason I’d get lost in booze and video games on free nights with my roommate was loneliness. I didn’t know how to be alone, and evidently still don’t. The only way I’d get writing done was to go to a coffee shop. But I haven’t found a coffee shop to my liking since forever. Even in Texas, the old haunts didn’t have the same flavor anymore, except one, and they closed that place down.

Try harder. Make a schedule. Stick to schedule. If I wind up a house-husband, it’ll be 1) wake up at X time, 2) eat, caffeinate and clean, 3) walk/play with dog, 4) write (short session), 5) read/draw/music, photos, 6) write (long session), 7) make food for my lovely wife to return home to.

Something like that. I have to work at home. I’ve had some success, lately. It can happen.

Also going on self-motivational blog rants. That keeps me going.

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