Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turn that rubbish into GOLD sister (mister.)


This morning I spent 25 minutes going through unopened mail looking for my new debit card-I was rudely awakened to the fact that my current debit card expired in November when I went to pay for my already consumed Thai food....

...while looking for my debit card I realized I also have a toll bill to pay, a car to clean out, a computer to get fixed, Thank You cards to write, groceries to buy, a hair appointment to schedule, gym dates, real dates, CREATIVE ENDEAVORS to make time for too.

So how does this all ties in with today's prompt:
December 2 Writing.
"What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?"

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that a lot of people would say; spend less time on Facebook,
less procrastinating, chill out on the drinking perhaps (this is not one of my examples, obvs), watch less TV, or perhaps you'd say something more like; doubt.
Maybe "eliminate" the array of annoyances that my day began with......

Well, I'm not going to say any of those things, in fact- I'm going to go with;
Everything you do contributes to your writing.

There isn't a formula that says, "spend less time Facebooking and VOILA! you're a better writer." I'm calling bullshit on that. Everyone that says, "write from 8-9, schedule time for it" I'm calling bullshit on that too.

All of the things that we're "too busy" doing are just more moments that will inevitably weave themselves into your stories- maybe you spent three whole weeks hating everything you wrote, but during that time you were out living, observing- you were watching the way the woman across from you at the coffee shop kept tugging at her hair while she nervously peeled the sticker off of her latte and gazed at that sweet boy who got up to buy her a slice of quiche she'd been eyeing and maybe all you did those three weeks was sit and maybe all it did was remind you what it's like to have butterflies again.... maybe, you need to write about that.

Maybe while you were Facebooking, instead of writing someone said the "just right word" that proved to be a springboard to the greatest blog you've ever written....Perhaps that "procrastination" was really just giving you permission to marinate a bit more, so that your writing would have more FLAVOR. Oh yeah...that text you sent when you had a little too much Miller High Life (class act) in your system, yeaaaa....that text gave you the ending chapter that you wouldn't have found otherwise.

....perhaps while you weren't writing, you were "COLLECTING." As writers it's our jobs to collect valuable trinkets; the gift of observing a perfect moments, an awkward exchange, an interaction with a character... when you aren't writing you are a sponge submerged underwater in the intricacies that give your story a heart.

Look, I love a happy ending just as much as the next girl. I'm all cupcakes and sunshine and roses- but if we were always all cupcakes and sunshine, perfectly crisp, buttoned up and checking things off the spreadsheet, constantly our stories would become one dimensional. Or delusional. Your call.

If you aren't using the things you do everyday as inspiration, even the annoying, messy or inconvenient parts, then you're letting valuable resources go untapped.

It isn't how busy you are, it isn't the doubt, it isn't the fact that your spending too much time making out with your boyfriend....those things are the layers that add to the depth of who you are, who your blog is, what your story MEANS.... if anything is going to be eliminated it should be the real killers; trying to write like someone else, spending too much time on the computer when you could be out creating stories worth telling, worrying too much about the syntax (that's what editors are for), and the biggest killer of them all: Worrying about what the fuck everyone else is going to think. That one? Yeah, buy-bye.

Life gives us unexpected "gifts" and as a writer, its our job to take the things we think need eliminating and to USE it; that thorn in your side causes pain, so write about that. That thing that takes up too much time causes friction, use it. That itch that you're trying to scratch causes urgency, so fucking hop to it. Eliminating gives the "thing" too much power- turn that rubbish into gold....before you think about throwing something out of your life, try looking at it from another angle....maybe it has more value than you've considered.

Clearly, I'm not a minimalist.



What do you think you should "Eliminate?" and why???

48 comments:

heisschic said...

first off- alcohol has given me some of my favorite posts. so that's one portion of my life that definitely contributes to my blogging (i feel dopey calling it writing. i'm not a writer. i'm barely a blogger).


fighting. fighting w/ my family, with the bf, with a friend- none of that makes the blog. but seeing as it's usually the only thing on my mind, it actually detracts from all that free space in my noggin that should be used for brainstorming.

hellotaylor said...

Ooooh yes yes yes! This is what I was going for in my post too! :D

Kayla said...

Amazing post!! I totally agree, that sometime what feels like not being productive is actually the most productive.

Leah (lea1022.tumblr.com) said...

Ooh, good post! I just need to work on pulling all of this crap out of my mind and putting it on (virtual) paper...

Bird Shit and Baby Caca said...

facebook and drinking...they what make my world go 'round!

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Yes, yes, yes. My feeling about this is that there's a difference between "percolating" and "avoiding". When I'm percolating, I'm collecting, I'm simmering, I'm resting, ideas are steeping. When I'm avoiding, I have something I NEED to write, but I'm scared it's going to suck, so I keep putting it off. I can feel the difference, but sometimes I pretend that I can't. :)

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

your ill-fitting overcoat- OH YES, I know this "avoidance" feeling ALL TOO WELL.

bellerenee said...

Pretty much what I said, too. Netflix inspires me, so what?

Genie of the Shell said...

I am in full agreement with those things you should REALLY eliminate--unproductive feelings, anxieties, and activities that distract from LIVING (including Farmville, but not including spying on juicy Facebook conversations).

It's funny, I was just blogging about how family drama is a great resource for writing, and holidays are a goldmine because everyone is stressed out and crowded together.

But it helps to make sure the written product is sufficiently fictionalized. Haha. Unless your relatives are conveniently illiterate... which some of mine, uh, might be.

http://magicnutshell.blogspot.com/

Andrea said...

I mean, yeah, Chelsea. I just wrote pretty much the same post. WE MUST BE SISTERS.

gem said...

I totally concur. Especially the bit about marinating. When I was in teacher school, I always wanted to suggest that we have the students to just sit and think and be quiet for like ten minutes a day. (I did not suggest it because it sounds like a pretty ridiculous idea, haha.)

Also, this entry reminded me of this quote: "...an artist’s job is to pay attention, collect, organize, archive, preserve, then write a report. Document. Make your presentation. The job of an artist is just not to forget." -Chuck Palanuik

Jamie said...

PREACH ON, SISTA.

You're totally right. I'm always thinking, "I SHOULD WRITE MORE." But if I wrote every day, I wouldn't have anything to write about. Am I going to write about writing? No. I am not.

I'm going to write about how I just spent the last thirty minutes giving a fake interview to fake Ellen because I was fake famous for writing my fake book. GO ME.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Gem- ooooo, I'm in love with that quote.

tee said...

Uh huh, loves it. The first thing to go is work! No, that doesn't count? Huh. Then paying bills! No? ...Going to the gym?

Chelsa Bea said...

Love the way you turned this around. Great post! Happy Reverb 2010!

doniree said...

WHAT JAMIE SAID.

And AMEN SISTER.

myuncensoredlife said...

I always wait for your posts because even though they aren't every day they are always inspiring and GOLD.
Love love love

Jen said...

Ok, I went with procrastination, but I 100% agree with you! When I was thinking about what I was going to eliminate, I was riding the same thought train as you -- all the TV, the social media, the blogs, the experiences, the challenges and frustrations, the fights, the drinks... they all contribute to my writing.

So maybe I should have gone with trying to write like other people instead of just going with my own voice. THAT is a good one to eliminate.

JUST ME said...

I firmly believe that watching RHONY is giving me creative inspiration.

Also - Real Housewives of Atlanta. I want to meet Nene so bad.

janet said...

wow i love the answer for the prompt! i'm a bit of a minimalist but you've provided an excellent case against it! i'm still all for that perfect balance... which is actually never perfect and never balanced ;P

Nik said...

This was really one of the best blog entries I've read in a really long time. U r totally right . . . I am so glad to see you DOING so well and I am also glad you came back to the blog world so I can hear your lovely blog voice . . . CUPCAKE! Ha!

Nik

Fizzgig said...

did you say too much time facebooking?

blasphemy!

Sara said...

The things I spend my time doing that aren't writing are the things that always end up in my writing. Even the mundane things that don't seem that interesting (decorating a Christmas tree) turn into a pretty funny post if you know how to write it. :) I completely agree with you.

Manderz said...

Some great food for thought. Perhaps the reason I've struggled with my writing this past year is because I wasn't out living enough.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Nik- aw, well thank you for such a warm welcome back!

Radio Nowhere said...

Hell yeah. Write, dammit. That's the biggest thing...the only thing.

crtclms said...

Best. Pep talk. Evah.

Susan said...

I think this is the best post I've ever read. You are so right. Even in college when I had to write papers, the best stuff came at 3 in the morning when I finally got down to writing after letting distractions get in the way - not at that 6 pm time slot that I reserved for it. Seriously I've always thought this and never knew it because I've never seen it put so eloquently.

dayna said...

WOW! Excellent swift kick in the pants! And leaves the recipient saying: "more please".

Dr. Cynicism said...

I think I should eliminate work... it really takes up a lot of my time, somewhere in the ballpark of 40-60 hours a week sometimes, ridiculous no?!?!

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Susan- ah well thank you dear....that's a very sweet compliment, and much appreciated :)

OnlyLostBunny said...

I agree there is no sutch thing as wasting time. Anything can happen :)

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BeckEye said...

Wow, I feel like I just visited Tony Robbins there for a second. I'm always bitching at myself for wasting time online when I should be writing instead. But now I don't feel so bad!

Jan said...

well said. and SO what i needed to read today. :)

Katie said...

Very good point! Thank you. If a block-buster movie can be written about Facebook then why not?
xx Katie.

kwerk said...

Here here! Or is it hear hear? I never got that one, really...

I think I definitely censor myself too much for people that don't probably even read my damn stuff. I'm working on eliminating that, maybe not entirely in that there are clearly things that are private, but overall some stuff is my own & therefore my choice of whether I want it to be public or not.

xoxo

Skinny Dip said...

Definitely the whole "worrying about what other people think" or "what other people are doing/writing about" needs to be eliminated from my life..I'm trying to learn how to just "put the blinders on" and WRITE but, that's sometimes easier said than done. Thanks for writing this post - it made me feel better :)

Lisa Griffin said...

yeah i'm not a minimalist either and frankly it's too much pressure to try to eliminate!
www.indramaticfashion.com

Anonymous said...

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Sophia said...

This is the truest thing I've ever encountered. If all else is false, this is true. I can agree with my whole being that when we are not writing, we are absorbing everything and storing bits and pieces to write about later. I do it all the time. It is necessary sometimes to put the pen down, take a step back, and just observe. Amazing post. xo

Diana Smith said...

You are such a busy girl!! Cute blog though!!

salwar kameez said...

Informative article..thanks for sharing..

sandyb said...

".....If you aren't using the things you do everyday as inspiration, even the annoying, messy or inconvenient parts, then you're letting valuable resources go untapped."

that just summed it up perfectly. amen sister, aaaaaamen

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