Saturday, October 10, 2015

making time for our writing

I've worked almost every weekend since starting my job at the hospital. I love it---the patients, my co-residents, our seniors---but it has been a challenge to keep up with other parts of my life.

With each new stage, I've realized I need to come up with different ways to make sure I write. I don't usually get a lunch break and get little free time during the day to read or write, so that means my time outside of the hospital is the only window available for writing.

Here are some things that have helped me so far:

1. Write for a short period of time. 
Most days, I can only do 10-30 minutes of writing. I need to commit to that, even if it doesn't seem like much. The tiny pockets of time have a way of adding up.

2. Protect writing time. 
Writing time should be shielded. That means anything else that comes up---a phone call, event, etc.----takes a back seat.

3. Plotting.
I've never really decided whether I'm a "plotter" or "panster" but I've found that plotting ahead of time helps me get straight to the writing. I can plot in my head, during my walk to work, and then simmer with the idea during the day. 

4. Sleep.
Creativity will not flourish without sleep. I tend to spend the majority of my days off catching up on sleep and then writing in the evening. 

unrequited love

I have this fascination for emotions I've never experienced, those gray areas that haven't been on my path. Ever since I was a little girl, unrequited love was one of those virtues. I found music and literature and poetry about the subject to be some of the most moving of all. What must it be like, for someone to have such an impact on your life but for you to have little to no impact on theirs? Is it easier to stay in love with someone from afar, as everything about them can be a theory? 

I would ask these types of questions to friends in situations where feelings were one sided.  

Charles Bukowski's poem about this concept stuck with me and I still don't understand why. I know they say to write about the familiar but for me, that's limiting. 

Maybe by writing, I can try to be many people going through many things at once. 

"I loved you

like a man loves a woman he never touches, only

writes to, keeps little photographs of. I would have
loved you more if I had sat in a small room rolling a
cigarette and listened to you piss in the bathroom,
but that didn’ happen. your letters got sadder.
your lovers betrayed you. kid, I wrote back, all
lovers betray. it didn’ help. you said
you had a crying bench and it was by a bridge and
the bridge was over a river and you sat on the crying
bench every night and wept for the lovers who had
hurt and forgotten you. I wrote back but never
heard again." 

Charles Bukowski