Warning: This blog post is going to make me sound like the biggest crank on god’s green earth, but here you go.
I hate the every day phenomenon. I hate the I’m going to write/run/do yoga/have sex/cook Julia Child every day mentality. People use it as book concepts so ordinary mortals can look on them and say “wow, I can’t imagine all the wisdom you’ve learned doing X.” But I think this kind of every day is for monastic life. It is for a life with one purpose.
I’m all for writing/running/[I don’t do yoga, but I support those who do]/having sex/cooking more often. Huzzah! We should all do more of those things. But every day creates an impossible standard. I really think it is a good idea to get up every day and brush my teeth. And yet, there are days when I am sick enough that I cannot do either of those things. Do I beat myself up over it? Nope. I roll over, go back to sleep, and hope I feel better tomorrow.
And I quote from an interview with one of the authors of two “having sex every day” books (neither of which I read, but I remember reading this quote in a review): “And were it not for her competitive zeal, their streak might have died well short of 100 days. Annie even forced her husband to have sex during a bout of vertigo. “I’m not a quitter,’ she said. “The night he had vertigo, I said, ‘I’m sorry, guy, but you’ve got to keep going.’ ” Nothing says romance like forcing your husband to have sex when he has vertigo for a stupid bet. You can imagine how bad that would look if the genders were reversed. [On rereading the review, I see that the other “having sex every day” book was about a gift a wife gave her husband on his fortieth birthday, which I think is sort of sweet.]
I don’t write a poem every day, I don’t write every day. I don’t need any more pressure or guilt. I don’t need to have sex when I’m having vertigo. I know when I force myself to write and write and write, I end up with long stretches of time where I cry and cry and cry. This is not pushing my art, nor is it good for me. There are times when you really need to just go walk your dog with your spouse or see a movie with a friend or go to bed and read Liza Marklund. Nathan Bransford is calling this creative fatigue. I vow to write more, have more sex, go running more often, sure. But every day? Fuck no.
Is it just me?