Monday, November 9, 2009

On Writing

Today I realized something: I am not writing as much as I want to be. This is strange, in a sense, because rare is the day I don't write something. Perhaps an addendum is in order: I am not writing what I want to be writing as much as I want to be. Grad school provides one with the rare opportunity to devote a sizable chunk of time to reading, writing, and thinking. I welcome this, of course. And, I do believe that the more I read and write, the better I get--even if I don't always like what I'm reading or writing. However, I find that the more I read and write for school, the less energy (and time) I have to spend on my "own" writing. This issue becomes even more pressing when I'm writing an actual article on top of the reading and writing for school, plus the writing for myself. I feel guilty when I don't "write" every day--I feel guilty that I am in the middle of a novel and a screenplay that I've barely touched since September. "Don't be so hard on yourself," I think. "You're in the middle of getting your Master's degree!" And yet, there is no excuse. "You have time," I counter. "All those minutes you waste looking a dresses on Modcloth or checking absolutely nothing on Facebook? That's pages you're missing."

But is it? I've always been a little neurotic, a little prone to stress--I think I need those 30-40-60 however many minutes some days to unwind. To think about something simple, like how pretty a certain skirt is, instead of composition theory and its place in today's classroom. James makes fun of me for reading celebrity gossip, but there is just something so theraputic in reading about Lindsay Lohan's latest meltdown or the unending insipidness of the Kardasian sisters. It's complete and utter fluff--and I need that. I am not being graded on it, there is no reason for me to commit any of it to memory, and it won't have any impact on my future. Grad school involves all of those things--and more. Those little mental vacations I go on once or twice a day are necessary for my sanity. The idea that I would instead through myself into the writing pit then just doesn't make any sense. True, I work best when I stick to a schedule, but I also know the dribble that comes out when I make my brain work when it is exhausted. Perhaps, the best thing me to do, is to relax and trust in myself--trust that the writing will come.