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The truth was that he wasted time.

I think in a past life perhaps I was Marie Antoinette’s lapdog.

I have been thinking about routine lately. Structure. Schedule. Time management. The order to one’s day. I have never excelled at routine, perhaps because I am so distractible and because my natural inclination is to stay in repose. I think in a past life perhaps I was Marie Antoinette’s lapdog.

They say that routine is important. Routine is paramount if you are unemployed (raising my hand), if you write (raising my hand while feeling like a fraud), if you are a parent raising a toddler or teenager (thankfully not me), if you teach adolescents (in a past life). The list goes on. My acupuncturist is forever gently asking me about my routine, about respecting my body’s need for rhythm, regularity.

In truth I am much better now than my younger years. But I am nothing like my girlfriend whose ability to routinize her life produces equal amounts of shame, jealousy, and admiration roiling about in me. She is my polar opposite in this regard: a natural at structure and the epitome of efficiency. She will do her laundry, plan a week’s worth of meals, scrub the toilet and bathtub, send several cover letters, plant and harvest sage and rosemary, and read an entire issue of the New Yorker cover to cover in the time it takes me to shower, reply to Facebook posts, Google the latest on Lindsay Lohan, and perhaps complete a draft of one cover letter while despairing over the state of the floors in my apartment and the unfinished section to my novel. Of course when I did have a job I groused that I never had time for my writing, but now in my unemployed state I find myself struggling to commit to the page any of the brilliant ideas for my novel because I need a job and so instead I string sentences about how I have cultivated and honed certain sets of skills over the years which make me an ideal fit for the position.

This is all rather pedestrian though. It’s the tiresome self-involved lament of many writers. And this is why I was excited to find a blog called Daily Routines, with the tagline: How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days. Unfortunately the blog appears to be on hiatus but the archives are a trove of validation for the procrastinating routine-averse angst-struck writer and artist among us. Reading the entries under the category Procrastinators was nothing short of revelatory, and I especially found comfort and amusement in the post in which Franz Kafka was indicted as someone who wastes time, who could have produced more work if only he had been smarter, more efficient about it.


I could spend hours on this blog, devouring the details of delinquency and dallying of all the great writers. Alas, perhaps that’s the problem.

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Published Jul 13, 2010 - Comments Off on “The truth was that he wasted time.”

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