Prompt: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing -- and can you eliminate it?

At first I thought, well this is kinda dumb, it isn't like writing is a big priority for me.  I'm not a professional writer, so it isn't a daily experience or focus for me.  And the prompt really isn't about reflecting on the year behind or the year ahead.  And what an odd question, not what stands in your way (time, energy), but what do you DO that DOESN'T contribute to your writing.  I don't like the wording, it's hard to answer, because it feels like a double negative or something.

And then I thought, stop right there.  Maybe, just maybe, there is something to be gotten from this question.  Maybe I'm the double negative.

After all, when I was young, I was a writing FANATIC.  I had pages and pages of stories that I would hand write out in my spare time, on my school breaks, whenever.  And I would read them aloud to anyone who stood still long enough to listen.  In elementary school, I was even allowed to stand up and read them to the class.  Well, until I got a bit too risque.  I guess they didn't think talking about drugs and urine was very appropriate for a third grade audience.  Prudes.

And then, as I entered high school, it all dried up.  And I barely write at all now, as evidenced from my sporadic blog posts.  My fiction writing is even rarer.  I keep thinking that I should write.  But I just never really get around to it.

So, what is it that I do each day that doesn't contribute to my writing?  What is it?

In a sense, everything contributes to my writing.  I soak life up.  I listen to the turns of phrases, the intonations and innuendos of the discussions around me.  I pay attention to the why's behind people's behavior, and to the rhythm of the plot of the movie I'm watching.  Or the story I'm reading.  Everything I do contributes to the mosaic of my interpretation of life, and that interpretation shapes how I write, and what I write about.

And yet, I don't write.  Not really.  So something must be getting in the way.  I could be lazy, and say work gets in my way.  Which is true.  I do look forward to having my own business, where I will set aside optimal time to write every day.  So it is true, but it isn't really fair.

I think the truth is just that I'd rather escape, rather slip into someone else's head than to slip into mine.  I sometimes have a hard time just being grounded in life itself, and immersing myself in what life, and my creativity, has to offer.  It is easier for me to stare at a screen, whether television or computer, than to look out the window and listen to my breathing.

And can I eliminate it, the need to escape?  I hope so, though not completely, I don't think.  But , as this year moves forward, and I begin to take ownership of my life, and all the bounty and consequences that come with that, I think that I will be pulled into the present, to deal with the now.  I intend to focus on enjoying the sweetness of life, and to look for it all around me, instead of focusing on the bitter, which is so easy to do.

So yeah.  In all of that, I do hope that my writing will sprout, beyond the pages of my random blog postings.

But, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

12/02/2010 19:30

I'm so glad you're participating in #reverb10. I really enjoyed reading your point of view. I loved the sentence "Maybe I'm the double negative." I hope you get to writing soon!

As to escapism, I am guilty of that as well. I love to luxuriate in the words of others, surrounding myself with the music of their cadence. It is sometimes easier to read what someone else has written than it is to write my own.


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