each day I have a limited amount of time to write. I find more time than many people do, so I don’t mean this a complaint. Rather, what I find is that I feel full of ideas early in the morning (we wake anywhere from 4am to 6am) but by the time that I am free to sit down (9:30am-11am) my brain feels wasted on work, on children, on my mother, my anxieties and depressions. Even so, I’ve thought through several ideas in the course of a morning that I want to put down. And there is simply not enough time. What is more, per my post on Doris Lessing, I’ve been thinking about two things:
- what’s worthwhile to write about
- writing better in the time I have
These are troubling ideas. On the second point, it’s [obviously] much easier to sit down and crank out a mash of my angers and depressions or incoherently rant about something or other that happened. And generally my thought has been: if it’s worth editing, then I’ll come back to it. There’s still something to be said for just getting started: the longer I stare at a screen without typing, the more likely I am to get distracted and start googling something or emailing of whatever. On the other hand, how much harder would it be to push myself, not just in editing, but in the initial writing, to say what i mean as clearly as possible?
On the first point, it’s easy to sit and write like crazy about my mom or whatever aspect of myself I’m currently feeling depressed about. But is this really what I should spend my time on? Yes, of course there is a place for getting out how I feel, and it’s necessary, sometimes, just to exorcise bad ideas and feelings. But I also think: what will the record show? When I look back at my scribblings, how depressing would it be to see endless whiny slush?
Better would be to put time and attention into stories, or if journal entries, to push myself to think/write new subjects. The next post will elaborate a little further.