I must have been run over in my sleep last night. I woke today feeling tired and sore but I still got out of bed and headed over to Mueller park to resume training for a triathlon I’d like to participate in. I’m drawn to the triathlon because the objective is balance, variation and health. Later I went to school, walked the dog (slowly, carefully), worked a little, and I’m currently doing homework, anticipating my next class and heading to a basketball game at UT tonight. One of my classes was canceled, and now I have time to start.
I’ve been unsure of what to write to introduce myself as the blogger for ACC’s Creative Writing Program. As a general rule, I like to avoid generic bios about myself. I tried to write some poems but they were duds and a stirring narrative didn’t seem like the right fit. “A girl sits in an ACC media lab and laments the loss of her laptop in the Hyde Park robbery of July 2010. She smells cigarette smoke on someone’s clothes and cloying air freshener. She wonders if she’ll disturb the others by streaming funk music videos on YouTube while she waits for inspiration to strike.” See, it’s just kind of lame.
So I’d like to start by discussing a creative block that is very close to my heart: procrastination. I want everything I write to be brilliant and so I figure that if I mentally map out my stories, poetry and essays, when I sit down an hour or two before my deadline to write, it’ll flow from my fingertips. I sit somewhere silent and study adhesive remnants on the side of a table, dust in the back left corner of a desk, a cursor blinking, mocking, blinking. I need the perfect sentence. Time ticks by. I’ll do it later. If I wait long enough, I’ll have to come up with something–right?
Writing is cathartic for me. The trials and histrionics of my personal life fit nicely into stories. If it doesn’t work as a story, I can try it as a poem or a song. What starts as memoir takes on its own life to become fiction. A short story stretches into a novel. An aimless novel blooms as one vivid scene. Crazy dreams about squids releasing their ink into the ocean as they escape can live forever as allegory for my ability to rise above the daily madness through written expression. I can be calmed and healed this way.
It’s just that I’m busy. Between school, work and trying to maintain a social life (not to mention cleaning, grocery shopping, showering and other basic keys to a happy, healthy lifestyle), I feel flustered and sometimes just exhausted. So what is there to do? My answer is to keep trying. If all I write is two sentences on that great American novel I’m working on before I fall asleep at my desk, then I’ll write those sentences.
For me, the objective is balance, variation and health. What’s your objective?