Monday, February 23, 2009

"I thought all writers drank to excess and beat their wives. You know one time I secretly wanted to be a writer."

Sometimes life gets a little too real. You're coasting along thinking everything is crazy but manageable, then BAM! you get knocked flat by a little taste of reality. For the past couple of weeks, I have been tasting all the reality I can choke down. Last semester I was bemoaning the fact that I had no writing classes...just easy little GEP courses that I needed to graduate. Enter Spring Semester. I am presently so loaded down with work that I am in danger of becoming bowlegged. (And with my skinny legs, that's quite an image!) It isn't just classes either. There's Concept Literary Journal, grad school applications, the writing center, church stuff, and countless other committments. May has gone from being the quickly approaching end of all things school to a distant light at the end of a very long and winding tunnel.

In the past two weeks, I have written way too many essays about myself. While I love navel gazing as much as the next writer, I think too much introspection can lead to backward thinking. (How's that for an image?) I have analyzed and dissected myself to such a degree that I'm practically unrecognizable. With essays for scholarships, classes, and applications, I have explored my feelings on school, relationships, my writing, you-name-it. I should now be the most well-adjusted writer on the face of the earth. Alas, that isn't the case, which is probably a good thing for my writing. I have written about my literary influences (love Harper Lee, can't get enough of Jhumpa Lahiri) and my plans for the future. All these deep thoughts and decisions, and I still don't know what I'm going to wear tomorrow.

So here I sit, putting off writing yet another essay (this one for my grad school application.) I know writers are by nature introspective people, but this is ridiculous. No wonder some of the greats lost it and killed themselves. You've got to go out and live, not just write away in your little hole. So that's what I'm doing. Sure I still have a mountain of schoolwork tottering over my head, but I also am going to have a life - a life that involves leaving the house and being with real, live people. Friday, when I probably should have been buried in homework, I went to help with some stuff for church. That afternoon, I met a friend at Starbuck's, and we talked for two hours. I cannot tell you the last time I did something like that. Talk about catharsis. (On a side note, we did manage to solve all the problems of the world in that time. Aren't we clever girls?) Saturday night, we had a couple over for dinner, and I swallowed my guilt and played Rock Band and Buzz for hours.

Of course, you do have to pay to play. Friday night, I was still cleaning the house at 11 o'clock. I've been deep in essays and a prospectus all day long today. Tomorrow it's back to classes and craziness. I have to maintain a balance though: a little reality, a little fun, a little deep thought. Maybe one day I will look back and decide that's the secret to being a writer...or I'll be that scary, old lady recluse who lives with 30 cats. One or the other...

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