Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Of Two Minds

As some of you know, and the rest of you are about to find out, I smoke cigars. Oddly, it was an ex-girlfriend (now known only as She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) who put me onto the habit. It’s not one I am looking to give up—I find it relaxing and enjoyable and an indispensable benefit to the planning phase of my writing—but lately I have been of two minds about it.

My current schedule seems to be: get up later than I should, spend a few minutes thinking about what I want to write, write for an hour on the bus on the way to work, write for half an hour on the bus on the way home from work, then take a nap and tell myself I’ll finish up after dinner. Get home, have dinner and then spend the better part of the evening relaxing on the balcony with a beverage and a cigar.

It’s not a bad routine, but it has not increased my productivity and I am starting to wonder if I am going to become known as Michael the great writer or Michael the great cigar smoker.

So I proposed to cut down. This is when the two minds came about. Morning Michael was tired of starting his day fretting over the work that didn’t get done the night before. Accordingly, Morning Michael decides that, this time, Evening Michael will write, not have another cigar. Morning Michael is very certain of this.

Then Mid-afternoon Michael starts thinking that it has been a long day and maybe Evening Michael deserves a bit of relaxation. After all, he’s not being paid to write. Evening Michael agrees, and, after dinner, heads out to the balcony.

This week, however, all of us went on another business trip to Devon. The daily routine for these days is somewhat similar to my normal days, except the bulk of all the writing time is used to smoke cigars and a huge writing opportunity is wasted. So this time, after Evening Michael laid out all the cigars and associated paraphernalia for Morning Michael to pack, Morning Michael put it all back and said we would all be better off if we spent a few days away from cigars.

We all agreed with that, at the time, but right now Evening Michael is pretty mad at Morning Michael because it’s a beautiful autumn afternoon and a cigar and a beer in the hotel’s outdoor seating area would be very, very nice.

On the other hand, I’ve finished up a review I promised a month ago, and caught up on my columns for the week, so maybe sitting in front of the keyboard has turned out to be a better idea than sitting with a cigar after all.

Morning Michael is saying, “I told you so,” but we still think he’s a sanctimonious wanker.


  1. I love this! I have the same battle, between the 'pre-wine Marsha' and the 'post-wine Marsha' (and no, I'm not an alcoholic...). Glad to hear I'm not the only one!

  2. well, I have no cigars to blame. Just myself, my lazy arse and too much socializing! The idea of the book is burning a hole in my head but I barely find time to blog, let alone sit down properly and write something useful down.

  3. Marsha: even with all that wine drinking, you seem to have managed to get a book out! Well done.

    Scary: you need to take up cigars--they are very relaxing and they won't burn a hole in your head ;)