Day 071: It’s Easier To Create Under The Gun

I didn’t have to be to work until 3:00 today. The prospect of such a thing was music to my ears. I was going to get so much done. I would wake up at my normal time, have some moments to actually percolate a good idea, maybe do some Christmas shopping, maybe buy some whiskey and I would still have ample time to write my daily piece. Late days like this are marvelous because you can cram so much in before you have to be to work. This will, in turn, become the most productive day ever!

It didn’t.

Instead, I stayed up until 5 in the morning hate-playing No Man’s Sky, woke up at the crack of noon, took a picture of the cat and zoned out for way too long. Given so much time to work with, I couldn’t come up with any good ideas. I could write about how much I hate No Man’s Sky, but I need to log in more hours before I flesh out that assumption. I tried writing a joke piece about our cat resisting his white trash roots, but it wasn’t funny enough and I had to stow it for another day. So instead, I played more video games, ate fish & chips and watched the Great British Baking Finale. That actually sounds like a badass way to spend my afternoon, but it wasn’t what I wanted, damnit!

So now I’m on my lunch break, trying to crank out some words to you. I’m giving myself 30 minutes and it will most likely just be about the writing that I’m currently doing. Because that’s exactly what you want to read, right? And now I’ve wasted 13 minutes on an introduction. That wasn’t even an introduction. I don’t know what that was. Great job, Coze.

The only way I can produce is under pressure. I feel like this is a human instinct that we are all on the spectrum of. When I was in school, the shorter the deadline was the better. Some of my best work was done in the nick of time. One might assume that I’m a procrastinator, but I am a firm believer in my clutchness. When I spend too much time on a project, I touch it too much and it becomes convoluted. Point in case: nearly everything I have written for BfD was only edited for grammar and other phonetical errors. Everything I write is as close to stream of consciousness that I can get. That’s why you don’t see much fiction from me, although it’s something I’m aware that I need to dive back into.

Back in 2010, I started writing the NFL Roundup. Then in 2013, I became more focused on the Friday Thoughts. You didn’t see much else from me in that time because those were the two products I knew I’d be able to produce efficiently. They both had a sharp inherent starting point and deadline. The literally HAD to be written on Mondays/Tuesdays and Fridays, or not written at all. That was how I produced the writing that I was the most proud of. They may all be disposable and dated, but they all still exist. Every once in a while, I’ll see someone dig up a random NFL Roundup and I wonder what nuggets they found or what Google algorithm sent them there. I treated those pieces as my weekly assignments and it was a genuine reason to create something, even if it was for my own amusement.

As you can clearly tell, that was the point of this experiment. My writing has been severely lacking for years, so I felt the need to constantly put that gun to my head. And so far, it’s worked. There’s surely been throwaway days, but some of this stuff I am quite proud of. It’s been 71 days and I still haven’t had to bend the rules. I’ve never written anything ahead of time and I’ve never written between 10 PM and 8 AM, the time that I know my writing is at it’s worst. I’ve set my own list of rules like this to further the stakes. Some days are going to be harder than others and I know ideas are running thin. But I’m confident that if I keep this amount of pressure, I’ll keep on producing until Day 369. But one rule I need to be more strict on is to get it done before work. That way, I won’t end up being the asshole writing blogs on his lunch break.

My 30 minutes are up. I’m confident that this is better than what I would’ve done with a 3 hour limit. But we’ll never know that.

Thank you again for reading my daily bullshit. It’s appreciated more than you’ll ever know. Also, I’ll never stop thanking you. Deal with it.

– TeeCoZee