reverb10 Prompt: Writing

Prompt: What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

I have to admit, I did not react well to this prompt. It felt like an attack.

My writing? Are you kidding? I didn’t know this reverb thing was about writing!

I decided to change to prompt. What do you do each day that does not contribute to… your well being, your health, etc … I had this whole essay about how great it’s been to have professional cleaners come in this year instead of spending a Saturday a month scrubbing and dusting. After all, that’s been a great change in 2010.

And then I took a breath. I reacted badly because the question really hits home.

I used to call myself a writer. I had dreams of writing novels. My dearest wish in the world was to walk on a plane one day and see someone reading a book I wrote. It wasn’t too long ago that I quite a job to write a novel. I’ve written novels – three or four very bad novels.

These days I just blog. I write cute little snippets of things to amuse my friends and family.

I am still a writer – in that I need to process the world through the written word. I just don’t call myself a writer anymore. I have given up on that dream.

Wow. That’s so sad.

So why aren’t I writing? What gets in the way? What do I do each day that doesn’t contribute to my writing — and can I eliminate it? Not bloody likely…. I get up. I do yoga. I meditate. I go to work. I come home and cook and eat in front of the tv. Two shows.

There. I watch two shows a night. I do love my television. I love television that is complex and so well plotted I can’t tell what’s next – The Shield, The Wire, Sons of Anarchy, BSG.

I guess I could give up a show a night – but who’s in the mood to write at 8PM? Not me. I’m asleep by 9 PM and sleeping long before.

But … but says the little voice … you do have breaks. I work at a private high school and I get massive chunks of the year off. Wasn’t that why I wanted to switch to working at a school – summers to write?

If there isn’t space in my day, is there space in my year? Is there room in 2011 for a writing retreat? A few days where I don’t work on a home improvement project or run errands ‘because I have the time’ or whatever?


Wow. This might just be the best prompt of the whole month.


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