January 7, 2011: Back to it

Time to Settle Accounts

January 7, 2011: Back to it

It took six days for the breakdown to occur. Write one short a day. Flash non-fiction as it were. Set the scene, zoom in, zoom out, not more than 450 words. The promise was not to set the standard of “one a day or bust,” but to wake up each morning and run the process, Start-to-Finish-to-Edit-to-Publish, all with a recent, local story.

Five days in, and I was feeling great. Five days, five stories, an intriguing start to the project. But Day Six arrived, and, in the words of Jack Torrance, I had “a few ideas. No good ones.”

Plus it was Date Night. I had a check-list day ahead of me, and one-by-one I checked them off: flowers to Carrie’s office, mail two letters, scoop phone charger from my apartment, check in with a few Wicker Park businesses to discuss local Happenings, haircut, bank, shower, dress.

Today, with Date Night a complete success, I awoke happy and fresh and ready to get back to work. And then I saw a Facebook status from an old New Trier buddy. It said: “Day 7 no cigs… feelin’ good…”

I’ve watched people attempt to quit smoking cigarettes. It ain’t easy. You hit that high streak, your Day-7-And-Feelin’-Good day, and then you miss one, and your job is stressing you, and it’s a night after a concert, and you’re drunk at a party, and you’re going through a breakup, and you just need that oomph, that boost, that old feeling.

Maybe you smoke one and maybe you don’t. But you get into bed, and you sleep, and you wake, and you remind yourself that today is a new day, with a new streak to start. And with that, you return to your desk and begin to write.

NEXT: Careful what you wish for. (1.8.11)

PREVIOUS: Just a number? (1.5.11)

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