Rendered Fat Content


William Henry Jackson,
The Immense Crowd, World's Columbian Exposition (1894)

"Even the CrowdingOut gets crowded out sometimes."

I hesitated when The Muse asked me to sign on as her campaign manager. Truth told I'd advised her not to run, but she went right ahead and ran anyway. To enlist someone who demonstrated their dedication to the effort the way I had bound me up, though I eventually relented. However, I did so, still clinging to my original misgivings. It wasn't that I didn't want to support her in this latest delusion. I was more trying to avoid colluding with myself against my own best interests. I avoid making too many commitments because I fear I will, by default, be CrowdingOut more critical stuff. I can never tell what that stuff might entail, but I keep my schedule more to the wide-open end of the scale than the slammed-shut side. Most importantly, I strongly need to protect my sacred writing time because I know how vulnerable that can become.

Writing fails exclusively through sins of omission rather than by commission.
Great or crappy writing needs lots of elbow room if it is ever to be. Flawless prose does not flow out the ends of anyone's fingers and never has. It is a resource hog, burning more attention than ever seems apparent by just reading the result. The manifestation process remains mysterious. Nobody knows how long writing should take because it's not repetitive enough to draw reasonable inferences. It takes just as long as it takes and often even longer, so writing schedules tend toward the open-ended. I rise early not because I'm eager but because I never know if that morning's story will come dancing out into the world or insist upon being dragged out kicking and screaming. An odd hour's never enough. I must schedule time for cogitating, too.

As I expected, my role as Campaign Mismanager has been CrowdingOut some of my semi-precious other time. I've fallen behind and watch helplessly as another chore goes undone due to campaign stuff. I ache for more me time, though I don't begrudge anything I have been doing. Lord knows what I've contributed needed doing. There was nobody else even to attempt accomplishing it. Those jobs superseded by my campaign commitment enjoyed a natural selection. Those left undone were not specifically chosen. I created no list for prioritization. Some just fell behind. Better, I suspect, if I don't even notice many of them, lest I induce guilty feelings over my shortcomings.  I might assert that this is really how this world works for those fortunate enough to find themselves over-booked. The object could never have been to complete every aspiration on that nonexistent list but to focus upon what seemed most compelling at any moment, to do what really seemed to need doing.

I have so far missed almost no mornings writing my stories. Some days, I stay up way past my bedtime finishing something, and my anxiety almost overwhelms me. I am no man of leisure but more the opposite. I have plenty on my plate, but I cannot relate to anyone refusing to add more just because their plate's full. This life should properly resemble a feast rather than a prim and tidy tea party. The notion that anyone's work will ultimately get done or that anything really urgent won't get finished seems absurdist on its face. I gravitate between competing commitments, less comfortable than I'd prefer sometimes, but in the sure and certain knowledge that my comfort was never really the purpose. Some things I've committed to do will go wanting, and some stuff of negligible importance might be finished first. Even the CrowdingOut gets crowded out sometimes.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver