Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My New Writing Practice

I used to have this wonderful routine down, back before I went back to grad school. I was working more than full-time, so I'd work my 10 or 12 hours in a day. Then I'd come home, maybe play some piano, maybe take a walk (with or without my friend across the street) to clear my head from the stresses of the day.

And then, around 9 or 10 p.m., I'd sit down in the living room with the TV off, I'd journal out whatever thoughts were running around in my head, and I'd think and write at least 100 words of my creative project (often several pages). The writing would sometimes take me up till 2 or 3 a.m. And then I'd get up at 7 and start over again.

Retrospectively, I'm not sure how I had the stamina. But it worked well.

The problem with grad school is in part that I often work at home. It then becomes harder to find practices that clear my head and help me to move from one thing--and one kind of thing--to another. Especially when so much of my work of all kinds is done on the computer.

But I've begun exercising again (sans iPod because it died) and that is helping. And last night I discovered that lighting a few candles in my living room and staring at them for a few minutes also helps.

Which is good because I have to switch back and forth between heavily academic tasks, errands, and this creative project for my assistantship for the rest of the week. And the creative project has passed most of the research phase and moved into the writing stage. And there's a pretty strong deadline, so I need to get into the creative writing mode pretty frequently. And quickly. And well.

You go, candles. You go.

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