i can’t start now because …

[Now that I have finished writing the sober book, and cover art is finished, I’ve talked with the UK printer about paper and cover stock  … now i’m spending time looking over earlier journals about the writing process. i can see that it took a LOT longer than i thought it would to find out HOW to write, to find a pattern, a rhythm. I discovered that writing is like early sobriety: shit is hard, then it gets easier, then we don’t know what we’re doing, then we figure some things out, and then we make daily, small progress.

i’m going to post some of the writing that i did over the last year that ‘helped’ me figure out the sober writing thing. Because the parallels with sobriety are huge and many.]

July 7, 2015

so i did a 5 a.m. writing event a week ago. it was very productive. solved the writing problem. created other problems.

got notes from editor on Tuesday, spoke with him Friday.

now it’s the next week.

so here’s the thinking. this will seem familiar: i can’t start now because…

i’ll be tired, i have to do catering, i should have the meals planned first, that last time it just sucked the life out of me, yes it worked but now i’m wondering if it’s worth it.

then i think, ok, just get on with it. do it tomorrow morning. set the alarm and get up.

and it’s scary.

scary to create the space to make the change.

scary to be alone with myself for 4 hrs.

scary to see what i will accomplish (or not).

scary to maybe discover that i won’t like writing the book, it won’t be worth it, it’ll be perceived only as brand-extension, it’ll be pretentious or surface-trite.

scary to be sober, to stop the numbing, to create the space to make the change, to see what i accomplish, to know that it’s worth it.

and everyone who’s written a book probably (surely) says it was worth it.

like everyone who’s longer-term sober says that being sober is worth it.

and here i stand on the side of the road. writing car is beside me. the keys are in the ignition. i know where i’m headed. and yet i’m not in the car.

[if you email me and say ‘just do it’ i’ll come after you. you don’t have to say anything :) just relate.]

i’ve been here before. i will be here again.


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Yet again you’re painting that vivid picture that sticks in the brain. “the keys are in the ignition. i know where i’m headed. and yet i’m not in the car”. Mine is a healthy-eating-and-exercise car. Appealing destination, nothing except me preventing that journey from happening, and now is a good a time as any – but for some unknown reason I’m still not making a start. And absolutely no idea why that is!

  • I loved reading about your writing progress last year and I can’t wait to read the book! And oh yeah, scary to be sober / write, to make the space for change – I like that.

  • Oh my goodness I am here pretty much all the time how I drive myself batty with the whole procrastinating thing! And I can’t give any advice a bit “pot Calling the kettle black!! Good luck”