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???