Failure to Flash Fiction Friday – 4 september 2015

Somewhere, deep inside, we all can fly.

Sometimes writing seems the hardest thing in the world, harder than breathing, harder than surviving. There’s nothing new to say, no new way to say it. You’re just chewing cud with your fingertips.

I have nothing for tonight’s flash fiction. I’ve been tired all day and all I want to do is shoot pixilated aliens and find explosive secrets. I don’t want to work. I don’t have the energy to turn good phrases. Writing now seems dull, like industrial production rather than artistry.

I wish I could summon writing, could save and spend productivity as if it were a currency, something solid to store and use when appropriate. I don’t like being tired before I’ve put finger to keyboard. I don’t like wasting my energetic hours in the car, or at computer gaming.

The greatest issue with fatigue is not an attenuation of creativity but an inability to mitigate ideas. At the thought of flight a dozen possibilities crowd into my head. Witches, birds, freedom, captivity, delusion, perseverance, madness, inner peace, all seem suited. Even whether to take the expression at face value or whether to treat it as irony, as something stated sardonically, compete for equal footing.

With no space to think, no solid point from which to start, I can’t move forward. I can whine about it, lament it, even write about it, but not overcome the issue. For that, I need sleep, I need to delay writing another dozen hours. It’s hurrying up to wait. Racing for an appointment, knowing the countdown to its start only begins once you’ve arrived, or worse, the inverse of that, in which you know you must wait an hour before beginning the race.

There’s nothing for it.

Fatigue can’t be talked away, can’t be assuages with caffeine or alcohol. Adrenal boasts have had their end.
I should give in. I should rest. The sooner I sleep, the sooner I can get to work properly. Delaying only extends the period of useless wakefulness when I am neither repairing nor prepared to produce anything. That’s not news. Nor is my insomniac response of putting off bed for another hour.

To sleep, I have to accept that today’s writing won’t get done. Once I’ve accepted that, tomorrow’s can begin. What rest I get now goes directly to the writing I’ll do tomorrow.

So, for the third time this week I’m delayed by a day.

Tomorrow, though, will see the completion of today’s task. If not then, the day after.

Without procrastination, the promise that a thing will someday get done, if not today, then whatever thing it was would be lost forever. Not don’t today, never a chance to do it again.

Fortunately, the deadlines are my own.

As an editor, I’m fairly lax with myself.

At least when there’s no other choice.

One can’t get ink from a stone.