Sunday, September 30, 2007

One Page at a Time...



___________________

It's been helpful reading over everyone's comments and ideas on my giving up writing post.

Some things I'm thinking about--

1) To allow the schedule to create me instead of me creating the schedule-- or in other words, don't try to cram inspiration into a 9-3 time zone. I need to remember that up until this point, my writing has always taken place without an exact schedule and to appreciate that.

Under that same idea, Nancy reminded me that it doesn't matter how, when, or where that it gets done, but that it does. In the end, our work is our work and if someone works better on a 9-5 schedule and takes weekends off and I work better from 10 p.m-1 a.m. for two weeks straight then no writing for 2 weeks, that's okay too. Find the routine (or lack of routine) that works best for you.


2) I've never enjoyed submitting my work or the "administrative" part of the poet's life. I like to write. One day my personal assistant who will handle those tasks. Until then, that person is me and the job will happen on a day I feel uninspired. But I'm letting myself feel free to ignore the submitting part of the job for awhile.


3) Writing happens even when I'm not writing. Sometimes I get my best ideas while organizing the snack cabinet or washing dishes by hand.


4) I'm in it for the writing and for how I feel when I'm writing.


5) There are a thousand paths to choose and there is a point when I have to stop researching the best path for me and just take a step forward.


6) Like the 70's sitcom: one day at a time, one page at a time...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Recently I experienced the same frustration that erupted from returning to school and working a 40 hour/week job. I'm unable to find the time to do the one thing I'm going to school for: writing. A friend of mine reassured me that I just have to find those moments, those snippets between the seconds to jot down a line. The same friend passed on an interesting tidbit to me: Lucille Clifton raised 12 children, and on many occasion she would have to stop between stirring a pot with one hand and supporting a child on one hip with the other in order to scribble down a phrase. It's nice to know we are not alone on this vessel called The Writing Life. It helps that our friends can also be like a compass, and guide us in the direction we need to go.

jean said...

I find taking the focus off of submissions, or critical success, helps me get back into the swing of things. Actually, completely disbanding all self-pressure, too. No schedule, no nothing. When it hits me, I write. Sometimes months go by, and I'm okay with that.

The joy is in the act of writing when you are truly IN it, and that just can't be coerced.

Valerie Loveland said...

I actually used to love the process of sending out work and keeping track of my poems, but something switched and I hate it now too.

I keep hoping I can switch back to liking the administrative part of poetry.

poet with a day job said...

These are all great ideas. And honestly, sometimes I write better on routine, and sometimes I don't. There's also something very romantic and inspiring about writing poetry whenever and wherever you feel compelled. If I am on the bus and suddenly struck with words, I kind of feel young again, hopefully, like the world is an open road and I have everything going for me.

But then sometimes, two hours in the morning works better than anything - my morning constitutional, I call it. Right now, I am in phase A.

On a side note: cooking beautiful and delicious things is also a kind of poetry for me. I do it when I am overwhelmed with feeling and emotion so much so there's no way I could write. So I cook. It's great.

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