Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Write on Wednesday -- A Healthy Writing Life?

Hooray! Write on Wednesday is back! And, our muse, Becca, opened her post with a wonderful medical analogy, mentioning how WOW had “flat-lined over the past few weeks.”

She continued, explaining how on her part, life got in the way.

And, at the end, she asks our discussion prompt:

How about you? Is your writing life healthy these days? How do you keep your writing life alive? What are some of the remedies you use to revive it?

Gee, Becca, how do you manage to get me where I live with a topic so relevant to me? It’s happened more than once!

Regular readers of The Marmelade Gypsy know that my life has been a bit chaotic over the past month or so.

Let’s see. There was Greg’s surgery, a source of concern for us.

And my impending surgery next month, which is making me a little manic, running about like a crazy lady trying to get everything in its place so when I’m home and operating with one arm, I’m not worrying too much about work undone or an overly chaotic environment in which to recuperate.

And of course, I’m trying to do a hundred things before – finish up some projects, have dinner with friends, tidy up.

There’s that DTV thing and replying to the viewers who are confused, angry and frustrated. (And so am I.)

And the TV pledge drive is a week away.

The thing is, I’m not special here. Every single one of you has a list as long or longer than mine, and it combines family issues, work, your hobbies and interests and much more.

And if you are trying to write along the way – write for yourself, or creatively (not the office writing I do every day) – it’s pretty challenging to make room for that.

It's hard enough to make time to exercise, to do my PT moves, or get to the gym.

I think my writing life goes through fits and starts and occasional periods of sublime productivity. Excluding the blog (and I shouldn’t because it’s probably the one place where I write for myself regularly), I don’t do all that much, really. (Well, of course there is the work writing, and not that it doesn't count, but it's not mine. Not really.)

But when I have a deadline – like Rick’s book – I am awesome. Maybe not good. But when it comes to prolific -- awesome!

Deadlines – we’ve talked about those here on WOW before. Maybe it’s because work demands it so I’m used to it. Maybe I work best under pressure. I don’t know. But I need them.

Every year I make that book for Rick. Every year I write the poems beginning – oh, late January at the earliest.

WHY? I don’t know. It’s not like I don’t have a list or mull over the topics. I could write one in July. Or even April.

It just doesn’t come. And when it does, I can’t stop.

So, since my writing spurt has been so prolific and so intense, I am now breathing. Handling the work stuff. Handling the home stuff. Wrapping gifts that must be posted before my surgery and trying to get a handle on my space.

I’ll try to post regularly, though sometimes I know I won’t be able to – and truth be told, not everyone is stopping by every single day to see if there’s something new because you don’t have anymore time than I do! (And besides, you’ll scroll down past the top post if you really want to!)

But that will help me write.

What are the remedies I use to revive my writing life? Well, certainly friendship. And cooking (huh? Yes, it's a wonderful inspiration for me -- maybe it comes from reading too much Laurie Colwin and other food essays!). Art goes without saying. And of course, there is a healing remedy in the soft purr of the Gypsy.

So many things keep my writing life alive -- not the least of which is The Marmelade Gypsy (the blog, not the cat). I may not have a hard deadline, but there is a soft one – will you come back and visit if there isn’t something new regularly? So, there must be something new!

And even if my motivation sags, a good visit to any one of you will revive it.

You see, it's like being in gym class. You're all together, but unique. Everyone has different skills and abilities. The gymnast and the volley ball player may not be the same person. The gymnast and the basketball player are almost certainly different! But they cheer one another on, support each other's efforts. They offer praise or constructive observations. And together, their skills, unique as they are, make a joyful whole.

On your blogs, and in your writing and art, I see the beautiful diversity and the wonderful things you create – be it in paint, fabric, photography or words. I read about your decorating ideas and recipes -- and every single thing is creative. It makes me want to create, too. Something. Anything. And then, share it with you – with words.

Meanwhile, I’ll panic. And then I’ll “think” my writing. And maybe at some point, it will make it from brain to page!


JessInFocus said...

Beautiful photos. My writing life is dead right now. I come to you for inspiration.

HerzBlatt said...

I have the same inspiration like you, when I see other people blogs and all the great and creative things they do.....and that gives me power to go on with a lot of things I sometimes begin and don`t finish.....
Have you seen the pictures of me on Helga`s blog??? Click in my new post on the name "Helga" and you will find me on the photos, she took, when she had met me last week in my favourite patchwork shop.
best wishes

anno said...

Every once in a while, I read about people who carefully compartmentalize their lives to preserve their writing time: when they're writing, they are NOT around for anything else. Maybe they accomplish great things, but secretly I suspect that they don't have a lot of fun. Or at least that it must be hard to meet them for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Can you tell what my priorities are? Personally, I think yours are in perfect order. Take care of yourself, care for your friends and family, write when you can. We'll look forward to every word.

Becca said...

Our creative community keeps us healthy in many ways, that's for sure!

Sending you good vibes for health in all areas of your life:)

BTW, I love the way you integrate the photos into your blog posts. So clever :)

Anonymous said...

oh, Jeanie, all good but I love the Gypsy picture and noted that he's reading Somerset mag. Such a smart fellow.
And the gym class picture (LOL).I see all of us in such pictures!
But yes to your comments on writing and what writing counts and what writing doesn't (but essentially, it all counts, right?)
Here's to ALL your writing-and-sharing, whether it's daily or not.

Bree said...

Surgery? I hope everything is OK.

Linda Jo said...

Great post. I show up and all of a sudden you are posting again and I'm behind. I'm so excited you are going to PARIS!!!! You will have a wonderful time. My sister lived there a couple of years (2001-2003)and I never made it. I can't believe the ugly gym uniforms we had to wear. But at least we all looked alike.

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