by Aaron Deck

Day 1
The key, is focus. So I prepare my workspace, brew a strong but smooth cup of coffee and select a mellow playlist from Pandora so the music is just background, and not a distraction. Wait, I’ve never heard this artist before, who are they, they’re actually from France? That’s weird I didn’t think I was capable of appreciating French musicians, when was it that they were invaded by Germany? I know I was going to keep the computer off for now but just a quick Google . . . no fucking way, that picture is not real, nobody can do that with their face, it’s Thursday night I wonder if reruns of American Horror Story: Freak Show are on I keep meaning to watch the last couple episodes, better turn on the TV to check while I’m thinking about it. Come here dog, you have something stuck in your fur. I should give you a bath.

Day 2
The key is, focus. OK I’m in my office, no TV, door closed I can hear my dog whining on the other side, but she’ll go away eventually. She knows when I have work to do. Does she? I mean I know dogs can sense things in a way we don’t quite understand, moods, intentions, smells that we don’t have words for . . . what is it called when smells produce colors, or music has a taste? When did I write this stuff on my wall? Tickles like an old memory, must have been significant . . . wait, I kinda remember, was an idea for a short story, but about what? Ah, here’s a dusty box of old writing I should check there . . . wow, I wrote like an asshole when I was 19.

Day 3
The key is focus. Totally focused on thinking about what to write, while I’m doing laundry, because I’m out of clean socks again so this will have to take priority. Also will have to do some grocery shopping because I’m out of food again–but I can do more thinking while I shop. Maybe I’ll meander around the store for a while and let things percolate. Because I can’t just force the words out, gotta let them stew a while. Stew sounds delicious. I need to find a recipe for that. Then I’ll get back on track.

Day 4
“The key is – focus.” So says the Post-it on my bathroom mirror, not sure when I wrote that, I really should start putting dates on these things. My beard is looking scraggly and homeless, I really should trim it before I leave the house. Or maybe just put it on the list, I feel like I have other things to do first. Where is that damn list, did I put it on my phone or in my backpack or on my nightstand or on the patio table or in the fridge like that one time or…

Day 5
Thekeyisfocus. God daaaaamn I drank way too much coffee I feel like a hummingbird, doubt I can sit still long enough to write anything I’m due for a break anyway, time to get out, see the world, absorb all that stuff I need to inspire my writing, ‘cause life is for living man and you can’t be an author in a vacuum and it’s beautiful outside and my dog needs a walk anyway. Maybe a quick nap first.

Day 6
The fucking key is fucking focus. Five days and I haven’t actually written a word, haven’t left the house, haven’t accomplished much of anything. Why is getting started always the hardest part, I know once I start it gets easier. So much to do around here, maybe I should go somewhere else to write, find a nice shady corner, a place where my ADHD won’t itch and squirm beneath my skin, a place where I can find some calm. Does that place really exist?

Day 7
The key may be focus, but I can’t find it from here in my bed. I don’t care, too much to do to start any of it. I’ll try again next week. Right now, it’s all too much. Maybe once I’m asleep, my spastic brain will find a way to order all the thoughts jockeying violently for attention. Maybe the problem is my consciousness, vainly playing traffic cop to a thousand collision-bound impulses. Maybe I’m just trying too hard. Maybe my dreams will be focused. Good a place to start as any.


Aaron Deck is a freelance writer living and sweating in Phoenix, Arizona. He is currently making questionable use of his Sociology degree to analyze health care software and draft the most flowery e-mails in the company.


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