Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Starting the day literary

I have a friend who closets herself in her study for two hours each morning before work in order to write. I don't ask her what "writing" includes. Does it mean dreaming as she looks out the window at the deer grazing in her yard, or preparing batches of poems to submit, or writing a book review, or shuffling through the pages of a file labeled "Poems in Progress," or lying back on the couch sinking into that state between dreaming and creating? For me, "writing time" includes all those things, and ever since I heard that my friend rose early in order to carve this silent, solitary space out of her busy day, I have tried to start my day in the dreamspace of creativity and even the po-biz parts of it that are necessarily attached to being a published writer.

When I tell friends that my grant writing goes better if I've worked first on a poem, they always laugh, as though poems and proposals were separate planets in the solar system of the mind. Of course, for me, writing can even include brisk walking, or taking a long shower, or reading. It's a state of mind and time. And of course it also occurs in the pockets of the rest of the day, the slack tide moments when your mind doesn't have to focus on much (while washing dishes, for example), and you can return to that poetic problem you've been chewing on.

In case your writing time includes po-biz, here's a handy list of March contest deadlines: http://www.madpoetry.org/contests/march.html

Have a creative day!