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indulgence.

June 16, 2011

new header! look at that. it’s so lurid and dramatic and cock-sure. a good kick in the pants to the ego. photography credits go to marwa abdou of applethief photography, as always.

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i’ve been thinking a lot about indulgence, lately.

i had a talk with emily the other day, and we were discussing writing. and how we write. and how we set aside time to write.

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more and more, as i settle into my routine of full-time work and waking up early and getting home later, and going to bed earlier, i find myself thinking more and more about how i’m going to slot thesis-writing time into my schedule. i’ve actually gone down from working five days a week to four days a week so that i have one more day to do errands/do laundry/cook food for the week/clear out time to sit and write.

i read somewhere that some writers wake themselves up early every morning to write. as much as i’m a morning person, i don’t think i could wake up at 4:50 every day in order to have another hour of writing time. and when i get home from work, often the commute makes me so very tired that i end up lying on my couch, eating kettle corn and watching criminal minds …. true story.

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so where does writing figure in?

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well, i end up setting aside whole days for writing. whole days. weekend days where it’s sunny outside and i end up sitting inside. and weekend nights, where i feel like maybe i should be out, christening my fabulous michael kors heels that i haven’t yet worn, being glittery somewhere on davie, when instead i am wearing hockey sweatpants and my dido’s worn plaid shirt. and guess what? ain’t no shame. i like being inside, staying inside, writing inside, and eschewing the (sometimes) mania of the outside world, at least for 24 straight hours.

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people who don’t write (or even some people who DO write) don’t understand this. at all. i am labelled “indulgent” or “lazy”. i am labelled as “frittering time away.” when people see me – or hear that i am sitting at a desk all day, snacking, sometimes staring at a wall, sometimes staring at my screen, and sometimes only writing 200 words in 2 hours, 200 words in 8 hours, i am deemed airy fairy. i am deemed lackadaisical about my writing.

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but that’s not how it works. steven told me once that sometimes even just staring at a wall for eight hours and thinking about my thesis – about the story, the characters, the way everything works together – counts as work towards my end goal. everything counts, at this point. things come to you at any time, and putting blocks of time aside to sit and think about how your characters kiss or speak or walk together – it’s a glorious thing. it’s a good thing. and people should be envious of that. people shouldn’t become upset that a writer cannot hang out for a whole day or a whole night because he or she is writing, dedicated, enthralled. they should be part envious, part elated. (of course that does not – will not – happen, but it’s a thought!)

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and what is so wrong with indulgence anyway? i work hard throughout the week. when i have nights to myself, they are often spent sweating my ass off (literally) in yoga class, or making lunches for the rest of the week, or doing laundry. i don’t think that having a day to myself where i wear stretchy pants and eat sweets and sit and think and wallow luxuriously in the complexities of my main characters is necessarily a bad thing. maybe it’s really freaking healthy, this so-called indulgence. and if people get upset that i have scheduled a whole day to sit and write and think – if they think it lazy, if they think it silly and frivolous – then they are nobody to get upset about.

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so that’s what i’ll be doing this weekend. being terribly indulgent. and really, really liking it.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2011 12:11 pm

    Yay indulgence! I approve.

  2. June 16, 2011 12:18 pm

    Hey, if that’s what works for you, do it. If I had to spend a whole day thinking about my characters, my story would end after 10 pages with everyone dying in a tsunami.

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