Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time Away from Writing: How to spend your down time

I can't tell you when I wrote my last poem (well, not off the top of my head).  I can tell you I have tinkered with a few things here and there over the past few months, and I think there was a two day period where three small poems came out from me---one the result of an opening line given to me by Jeff Newberry.  But it has literally been 8 months or more where I have put any effort into writing a new poem.  Oh, I have put in a considerable amount of time proofing poems and preparing manuscripts for publication, but nothing new.  And I am perfectly happy with that.

I have talked about it before, how I fall into shallow slumps of non-writing after I finish a manuscript, and that I never really start to write again until I genuinely panic about not writing.  In short, I need to freak out about not being a poet any more before my mind kick-starts me back into writing.So what do I do until that happens?  How do I fill the void?  Well, I already mentioned the proofing and tinkering thing, so I thin I should tell you about the other stuff I do.

1.  I spend a lot of time on Facebook.  I probably spend too much time on Facebook, but I would be doing that even if I was writing, so that really doesn't count.

2.  I prepare for my next year's teaching assignment.  I am going to be reading this summer, and I am going to be re-reading books as well.Nothing new or earth shattering there, right? 

3.  To tell the truth, I really have been spending the majority of my time not writing by not worrying about whether I should write.  I have learned my lesson from previous freak-outs---something else I have already talked about.  Still, it's true.  I am not writing and I am not worried about not writing. 

So let's review:

Don't freak out.

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