black typewriter keysOne of the many reasons I seem to have difficulty in writing something every day is that I just can’t decide what to write about. There are so many things that interest me that my mind flits from topic to topic all day. Yes, okay, so maybe I’m a bit A.D.D…Hell, A.D.H.D. even…but come ON. It shouldn’t be that hard, you know? Throughout the day I will find something that catches my ear or eye and go “Yeah! THAT’s what I’m going to write about tonight!” Then, I get home and I’m screwed…because there were at least a hundred moments like that from the time I got up to the time I got home and they are all shiny at first…and kind of dull by the time I get home.

I’ve tried keeping a list of everything as they pop into my head, augmented with little notes as to where I want to go with it, that way I can review and research them after I leave the office. I listen to a lot of NPR with earbuds while slaving away in the Cubicle of Doom…keeps me from being distracted by others in the office, helps me “get in the zone”, as it were. So, I’ll be listening to Talk of the Nation or The World or Fresh Air with Terry Gross…or any number of other programs…and there will be a blip about something that I want to check up on when I get home. Yes…when I get home.


See, I can’t just stop work and research it right then and there. Oh, no…and not just because I’m supposed to be filing, amending, inquiring, researching any number of the tasks I actually get paid a pittance for. No, more than that it’s the dreaded BARRACUDA… the SlaveBox’s Nazi Web-Filter. This security filter makes just surfing the web very problematic. It seems that everything you actually want to look at is “restricted” and so we get the “access denied” screen of doom for all sorts of things you wouldn’t even think it would apply to. I’m not talking just of the understandable and usual no-YouTube/no-Twitter/no-Facebook and no access to your personal web-based email like Yahoo or Hotmail or Gmail. If there is any possibility of streaming media of any kind on a site the whole site is blocked. That’s it. No can do. Do not pass “Go!” Do not collect $200.00. This means no going to the NPR website at all because, at that website, there is the mere hint of the possibility that you might-could listen to one of their podcasts. Even if all you want to do to just READ the damn story or check out a photo they were talking about on Science Friday…nope, no can do. Yeah, it’s not so fun.

Not being able to do even the most rudimentary of research such as this makes it very hard to keep your topic of choice in mind all day. For me, doing a bit of investigation helps to lock the idea in place, keeps the plate warm, reminds me to check back on it and where to check back in on it. So, try as I might to keep notes that pop into my head…I put them in a little on-going open email to myself and send it off to my personal web-based email at the end of the day so I can refer to it when I get home…it just doesn’t work. It’s very hard to keep the momentum going on any of this if you have to break away from it repeatedly. And then…the moment is gone. I imagine this is what it is like for a musician that has a hook in their head and then, if they wait too long to get it down, to try it out, to record a rudimentary riff on their voice memo app on their iPhone…it’s on the wind and gone. It’s the Mist of the Muse. *sigh*

Yeah…and it’s a problem.

So, here I sit at home now with an email full of notes that barely make sense even to me, on a hundred different topics, and now I’m like, “Uh…where do I start?”

I want to write about all of them. I want to write about none of them. I want to write about something else that grabs me…that way it will grab you. I want…

Damn it. I just want a glass of wine and a True Blood episode. Screw this.

And so…that’s my continual Dilemma…of Death.

© 2011 D. Kessler