Writing Practice

Overheard at the coffee shop:
“I can’t just apply for this job. I have to become a filmmaker first. And it’s seems like you just put something out there, you know? But…”
And then he just trails off.

As someone who would rather write for a living than work (because while writing, for me, is work, it’s a much more pleasant sort) I get where he’s coming from. Including the trailing off part. Because let’s be honest, all you need to write is the motivation and the time. I apparently am in short supply of both. And since together they complete a sort of circle (I don’t feel like I have the time so I’m not motivated and I’m not motivated to find time. Finding time make me tired, which saps my motivation and… ). That guy and I, we’re in the same boat. 

I thought I would commit to an online writing course. Self-paced, free because not only am I short on motivation and time, I’m short on cash. Also important because a long practice of any kind seems pretty unattainable right now. I made it through the first videos and workbook but the next section is all about establishing your own writing cubby.

First of all cubby. But we don’t have to worry about that since finding a place at all seems unrealistic in my current life. I have priorities that take priority over any sort of practice, so carving out a space seems beyond. That may seem surprising. I live in a house, yes? And surely not every place is spoken for? True, there are places but not the emotional/physical spaces that permit the sort of selfish time writing requires. 

I remember my mother going through this. It seemed silly as a child. She had a bedroom, the sunroom. She had any space she wanted to have and yet she complained she had no room of her own. So she took the hall closet, stuck a mirror and rocker in it and ruled it off limits. I am not so melodramatic and besides, now I know what she was missing. It wasn’t the physical space. She did have whichever space she wanted. It was the emotional space she couldn’t/didn’t want to whittle away from the rest of us. I think if she had known that it would have been easier on her.

I have an understanding family who would turn over all the spaces if I asked for them, including the emotional space. That makes Debra and RR pretty excellent family members. But because they are excellent, I don’t want to take the space apart from them. We have enough time apart, for me anyway, and the days and years are short.

And so, like our young filmmaker, I recognize that to write I just have to write. It’s free, it only lasts as long as you want it to last. I’d argue I have it better than he does. Still though…

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2 Responses

  1. I am paying private university tuition to take a writing class this term and I still don’t write like I should/want to. I’m just not… motivated? Desperate enough? 🤷‍♀️

  2. My writing ‘cubby’ was a corner in the living room, but after years of writing while children streamed in and out of the house and dinner was on the stove, I finally upgraded to a laptop so I can write outside when the weather permits. I still generally don’t get more than about 5 minutes uninterrupted to write, but thankfully, I’m not sure I do know how to write when I have time to myself.

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