Thursday, December 16, 2010

REVERB10 #2: Writing

This week I officially joined my local quilt guild. While I clearly won’t be finding a husband there, so far it seems like a riotously fun group of mostly retired women who have no compunctions about speaking their minds. It’s probably the closest thing to a crystal ball that I will ever have. However: my first order of duty is to sew friendship blocks that are Asian inspired, for someone I don’t know. I’m a little worried about this. Fortunately, I know that one of my local fabric stores carries quite a bit of Asian-inspired fabric, but I'm stumped as to what sort of pattern to use. Cross your fingers for me that delving into my stack of 10+ year old quilting magazines will unearth an idea or two!

But onward. The second Reverb10 prompt was about writing: December 2 –What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

Pertaining to my own writing (as opposed to the grant writing I do at my job), I feel like I thought more about writing this year than I actually wrote. I will exceed my goal of 52 posts here on this blog (one per week), so that’s something. I did send three or four essays out, all of which were rejected. I’m actually not so fussed about those rejections, mainly because the pieces I sent out had been workshopped and I know they were well-written enough such that I am not embarrassed about them. I did, however, recently contract with a writing instructor to review one of the pieces; she gave me great feedback, and I will be reworking that over my Christmas vacation. I kept a fairly good personal journal until I changed jobs, but that kind of petered out. Last month I started using 750words, although I have rarely managed more than 3 days in a row. But it’s something. Also, I have about 70 pages of something drafted. I’m not sure what this “something” is, whether it is a collection of essays or the beginnings of a little book. I’m not sure yet what it wants to be. I suspect 2/3 of it is garbage, but there’s enough there to make me want to keep going.

There are a million things that keep me from writing as much as I want to, but the biggest problem is that there is always something else to do. Knit, sew, read, watch a movie, surf the internet, watch TV, play with the cat, call my sister, read in the bathtub, etc. For all that I do to avoid writing, one would assume I hated it. But I don’t – I actually really love it. So, then, why is it difficult to carve out time for something I love? It’s not like I have kids or a husband to take care of. (Although, conversely, this means everything gets done by me or it doesn’t get done – full time job, paying bills, oil changes, trash duty, laundry, dishes, errands, making dinner, cat wrangling, it’s ALL on me.)

Despite all this, though, I actually do a pretty good job most week days of writing something, even if it is dashing off a page or two at lunch. But I need a good chunk of uninterrupted time to really work - to revise, rewrite, mash things up, etc. And the one day of the week I have such time? Sunday. The day I always *say* I'm going to go to church/yoga class/brunch with friends but inevitably wind up sleeping until noon and spending the rest of the day in my pajamas on the couch watching chick flicks and sewing. And I really love having that one whole day with no commitments (Saturdays are guitar lessons and errands and family things. And why, yes, there IS a nagging little voice in my head that is clearing his throat, suggesting that the guitar lessons make an early exit, but I'm committed until June. And I'm determined to be a decent guitar player.) In my fantasy life I work part-time for just this reason, but right now that isn't feasible.

So I don't quite know yet how to solve this dilemma. It's a privileged dilemma, I know, but thorny nonetheless. If I could just function without sleep...

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