12 August 2008

A delicate balance.

For some of us, fall semester is right around the corner, and nighmares of unwritten syllabi are waking us in the middle of the night. For others, work doesn't slow down in the summer, and doesn't kick back up in the fall. But I think that most folks can relate to the delicate balance between the real world and the writing world. So how do you keep both healthy without letting either slack?

Or, rather, how do you prevent things like housecleaning and answering emails from eating up all of your writing time?

Do you have a set time devoted to writing? Do you do it on the sly, when nobody's looking? Do you just not write when there's no time?

I tend to be more productive when I'm busy. Poetry is, after all, the new procrastination. If I don't jot things down on paper as I think them, they'll be gone.

Please share your thoughts on balancing, and any helpful hints that you have. I will return to this post when I'm mid-freak-out, for comfort.


Justin Evans said...

I am like you in the writing when I'm busy. I always harbor tiny little fantasies about writing a whole slew of poems during the summer 'when I finally have time' but that never happens. I always write the most poems whne I have 10otherthings going. I think it's because my mind is working more and strange thoughts are created by the traffic jam.

I also write in little micro bursts. My in-progress chapbook was 90% written in one month of writing. It may all be crap, but it's all crap that came at once. I need two more pems, but I have written nothing since June.

Jay Robinson said...

For whatever reason, I write more the busier I am. If I have twenty-ive student essays to grade before class the next morning, a mound of bills to pay and a lawn to mow while it's still light out, I almost always write a poem. Give me a week with nothing to do, no responsibilities, etc., and I'm not very productive. Poetry has always been both an escape and a welcome distraction. I guess it's good the fall semester is right around the corner...

Adam Deutsch said...

Same for me...but I'm out of teaching and longing for the 9-to-5.

Karen J. Weyant said...

I have to be busy -- but not crazy busy -- to write. Today, I was crazy busy. No poetry tonight!

But, even though I have summers "off" -- I find that sometime in July, I start to get really lazy. My best writing months are May and June.

Talia said...

I'm supposed to clean my house?

That's what I always let slack.

Mella said...

I struggle with disciplining myself to write. So much so that I recently stepped (far, far) from my private little writing box and sent an email to my fellow Kenyon workshoppers to ask if there might be anyone who would be willing to nag me.

So now, with someone expecting weekly emails of new writing from me, I feel a bit more guilty about letting the days slide by without writing (as can tend to happen with two teeny-tiny kids scrambling for every moment of mommy-attention they can lay their sticky little hands on...)