Saturday, April 23, 2016

reminder to self: these things count as writing


Last weekend, I sat in circle of students' desks in a college classroom. The other desks were filled with fellow writing conference attendees with whom I share at least one commonality: our paying work is not our writing. We met twice, once over dinner and then two days later over lunch. Our time was limited but we didn't waste any of it because the challenges are obvious. We had a lot to talk about.

In my head, I list off the hardships of this kind of life - often - where they end up cluttering my emotions as excuses or whines or justifications. (so little time, so little energy, writing at night is hard, offices don't cultivate creativity, I need a social life, just one more episode of Gilmore Girls...)

So! Instead of challenges and whining, I present for you a list of all of the many things that feed writing. For me, words on paper are most satisfying, but they are not always the point. The point, I'm beginning to realize (I can be slow, I know) is to build a writing life.

reading
revising
zoning out
reading old journals
googling
making a spreadsheet of publications to submit to
catching up with friends at writing group
listening to podcast interviews with authors and other artists
blogging
writing for my friend's nonprofit
asking questions
going to readings
hanging out at bookstores
praying
journaling
listening to music
making plans for writing
transcribing passages I like
movies (sometimes)

***

(photo: book stack from sometime last year)

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