Monthly Archives: June 2012

The T.V. Trap

After taking the leap and working from home with a dedication to words, I have developed hyper-awareness as to what devours my precious writing time. Having a little one at home really highlights what Virginia Woolf was talking about when she said women writers need money and a room of their own to be able to write. Children love to cling to their mother’s rightfully so, so how do I commit to writing? Being a mom as a full-time job makes writing for me a necessity on the priority list. Back in January, I made a deal with myself that I would commit to writing everyday. I figured if I was to embrace “The Writer’s Midwife” persona, it would be imperative that I “walk the talk,” as they say.

After we finished our first (and very successful) workshop, Skin & Stories, I was very tired. I was sad to say goodbye to a group who had created such a safe space on Monday nights for writing and inspiration. Those Mondays, as I’m sure many of the students would agree, kept my writer-self fueled for the entire week. Luckily, there are some students who still carry journals and steal away writing time in parking lots and movie theatres…whenever they get the chance. This was my dream for the workshop and it is uplifting to know that it has been realized. For me, I slumped into a funk when the workshop ended. I tried to write everyday, but it was a chore and I even missed some days which was unheard of up until that point. I started retreating to my basement and watching T.V. ..Television! I soaked in reality shows and even some sitcoms. When I came out of my funk a couple of weeks later, I couldn’t believe how much creativity had been wasted on that box. There was no inspiration.

On the other hand, reading books begets writing. I always feel inspired by the dance of words on the page and it encourages me to write things I hadn’t thought of through silence and the breath. Music does the same thing. One of my most productive days out of the week is when I’m traveling 40 minutes one-way to tutor. Listening to music and feeling the car’s grip on the road always accumulates lists of things for me to write about upon arrival. But the television sucks it out of me and I am left without even an inkling to pick up a pen. Television serves it’s purpose for me when I don’t want to think or feel inspired, but it is rare that I choose this. In fact, the television was removed from our living room and currently hides away in the basement. Since, I do a lot of writing in my living room and host my writer’s group here as well, I decided to dedicate the entire space to creativity. It was strange to get used to, but months later I can’t imagine it any other way. Incense spills into the crevice where the  t.v. used to sit and an altar of candle light decorates the open space. The sound of leaves grooving to the breeze enters into the open window.  Books litter the walls of this place. It is the perfect distance away from the tea kettle, so my mug is always full. It is my creative sanctuary.

 

What’s more, there will be other workshops (in the fall) and we will hold each other accountable then. For now writing remains was it always has been, a solitary act. I disallow the television to call my name and stop the ink from flowing. I will heed to my journal’s beckoning call and write and write and write.

I hope you join me this summer. I would love to hear your struggles and triumphs in your daily writing. What encourages you? What stops you?

Happy writing!
S.

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