Dangerous Procrastinations

My Mother: Yvonne

She’s the solemn pledge in a home fire’s passion;
Bruised knee or ego?  She’s the balm.
She’s the showcase of the milliner’s fashion,
To be succinct, she’s my Mom.

Her heart and name always precede her,
Generosity carries her on.
And like magic, she’s there when you need her,
My sweet, dear Mother: Yvonne.

She’ll bake up roasts and cakes and pies
And generally do too much,
But there’s no mistaking the love in her eyes
Or the tenderness in her touch.

Her feet get weary and sometimes ache,
From running to and fro.
Always giving, she’s loathe to take
Aught but kisses as I go.

Dedicated to family, work, and God,
She labors for all three.
Too few could handle the path she’s trod
And fewer happily.

But on she goes still even now
Hours: twenty-four, days: seven –
My Queen, my light, unfurrowed brow,
My little slice of heaven.

———

Procrastination, when added to Pleasure’s formidable arsenal of yesterday’s post, is perhaps the most insidious enemy (“The Dragon“, if you will) I regularly face.  And it’s not even because it keeps me from dutiful work – it’s because occasionally (more like rarely), it will produce a shiny nugget like the one above.

On those occasions, you take a month or two’s worth of guilt from screwing around and add in a slice of genuine inspiration, and it propels you mercilessly toward a certain brand of excellence.  Of course, this isn’t the tedious, shepherded excellence that you get from nursing a truly large project onto its feet for the first time… because it rarely takes as long.

Which, to a Narcissistic Hedonist, is exactly the kind of “instant gratification” time frame that we’re looking for.  I can hardly recall the last story I wrote that I was willing to get back to even a couple of days later with the initial fervor that I had for it at the very beginning.  This upsets and frustrates me, naturally… especially when I know it’s a great story.

This has made deadlines in my professional life into laughable, inconsequential marks in time – that I generally race toward, pass with indifferent hilarity, and then struggle frantically (and apologetically) to meet after it’s already too late.  Then, the work that I end up handing over is but a shadow of what I’m capable of because it was about the job itself, and not the creation of the story.

(Note to my future manager/agent: A helpful way to counter this would be to [without telling me, of course] give me deadlines that are a month before you need them, then take what will obviously be my first draft a week late [which I admittedly write as well as most people’s third drafts, but still…], tell me you have some notes, give me a week to finish them, and even if I’m another week late, I’ll still be more than an actual week early.  A lot of extra trouble?  Perhaps.  But you’ll find I’m worth it.)

Unfortunately, I can never really trick myself in that fashion, so – for now – one of the things I’m perennially trying to overcome is my waiting for sporadic inspiration, and just forcing myself to sit down and write.  I really do hate me sometimes.

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About Emperor Lu Bu

The Emperor of Xeresgate - if you wish to know more, read my words.
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