Monday, February 4, 2019

Carlie Blume: My Version of a Writing Day

My writing day and I have always had somewhat of a precarious relationship. This is likely because I don’t really have one.  

I know that one day I will have this illusive golden idol they call a “writing day” but for the time being I find myself writing in the small openings that form in my chaotic days. Days that consist of driving kids to school and back, in addition to all that other domestic stuff that can tend to take priority over creativity.

These small openings mainly consist of one hour bursts during the day, where I can set my son up with a snack and a movie while I quietly sneak into my office and get down to business. It is there that I pull out all the notebooks that I carry around with my throughout the day, most of which are filled with scribbles I have made while sitting in my car waiting for school pickup, or standing in line at the grocery store. Thankfully these act as a bit of a template or at the very least a rickety set of training wheels, assisting me in creating a writing pace that doesn’t completely cripple me with self-doubt.

Note: I would be incredibly lost without these notes because it is a proven fact that the blank word document and I are about as compatible as toothpaste and orange juice.

And despite the crude design of this schedule I will admit I do have a steady appointment with myself on Thursday evenings at the local library just up the street. With the exception of the odd social function I am fairly strict with this timeslot, that usually spans from 6:00 PM until about 9PM, when the library closes and my brain starts to trip over itself.

During these three and half hours I find that I start making headway with my writing projects, finally getting immersed in the writing. From the depths of my busy week I regularly fantasize about entering this euphoric state, I’ve heard so many writers refer to as “the zone”; That beautiful, cooperative place where everything around you blurs into a foggy pulp, pushing you deep into the work, to the point where you can taste it.

I will also note that every 6-8 months I take off to Salt Spring Island where I rent out a tiny writer’s cabin for a few days (this is a privilege that has helped me through some of my most unproductive periods and for that I am profoundly grateful). At the cabin I have the luxury of being in my head all day, where I feed only myself, look after only myself, think only about the writing, my characters, my poetry, its HEAVEN. I also read A LOT when I am there, something that has always helped me get into the headspace I need in order to write.

Perhaps one day I will be one of those enviable people I hear about who sits down at their laptop at sunrise and spins gold until 3pm (even bronze will be great). But the more I think about it, the more I can’t help but imagine me bobbing helplessly in a boundless sea of time, dinking around, drinking too much coffee and snacking myself into oblivion. I almost think that the way my life is structured forces me to use my time wisely, not taking a second for granted.

But who knows, maybe ask me again in five years.

Carlie Blume is a Vancouver born writer of poetry and fiction as well as a 2017 graduate of The Writer's Studio.  Her work has been featured in The Maynard, Loose Lips, Pulp Mag and Train: a poetry journal. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry as well as a novel.

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