I admit it. This past year I have become complacent. Lackadaisical. Lazy. I have published fewer essays in 2016 than I have since I first started in 2008. I could distract you from this fact by engaging in socially accepted forms of cognitive dissonance elimination, such as blaming my low output on bloated government interference, or denying it by creating easily disprovable “alternate facts” such as, “I am at my most prolific since the year I wrote all three Twilight novels and scored my ninth and tenth symphonies.” But the fact remains: the blame rests solely on my complacency.
I could rationalize a number of reasons why: I’ve been busy with other projects, I’ve been distracted by more important matters, I haven’t felt as creative or inspired. These are not good reasons, only excuses. I’ve been multitasking as long as I can remember, devoting as much time to writing as I have to watching reruns of Alf. I have been more distracted during years when I've moved, changed jobs, or discovered new sandwich shops. Despite indicators from friends and family, I believe I am inclining towards a creative peak. Sources of inspiration have not changed; as more social constructs collapse and acts of civility succumb, topics have sprouted around the cadavers like well-fertilized fungi. I cannot claim current events have become so bizarre and exhausting I no longer possess the energy or desire to write; the absurd parade of social lunacy is the basic fodder for the humorist and writer. I could just as ineffectively blame my keyboard for being so well worn with use that it has become too easy to type. Regardless, such excuses do not change the fact of my complacency.
It didn’t take retrospection from the rollover into a new year to alert me. I’ve known since July I was on the trolley into Complacentville. The unfortunate part is the seats of the tram are so gently comfortable and the ride so softly smooth, once one boards, he tends to stay on the transit system well past his ordinary stop. I’ve circled the districts in Complacentville enough times to know them by name: Unambitious Acres, Shiftless Square, Blasé Park, and Circle of Indifference. I was fooled by contentment into thinking the neighborhoods became more beautiful each time I passed. More unfortunate is: as I sat back and watched the scenery in a languid stupor, the streetcar named Lethargy fueled itself.
But no machine can sustain perpetual motion. Eventually, even boredom gets boring.
So now it is time for me to disembark the trolley carting me around Complacentville. It is time to roll up my sleeves and don the whimsical bunny ears of battle against laziness. It is time to shoot the fake arrow through the head of any excuses that attempt to stop my essaying efforts. It is time to carry the eight-foot plank of ambition on my shoulder and slapstickingly swivel it to conk the craniums of any knuckleheads of apathy, dropping them to the floor. It is time to lace up the humorously oversized boxing gloves of determination and punch complacency in the kidney.
It is time to write.
And if I fail to increase my output this year, I can always blame government interference or deny the failure altogether.