Monday, September 12, 2011

i'm not supposed to write this.

i have that terrible urge to write and not write what i'm supposed to.

you know, like my english paper.

i really should be incredibly excited about my nine thirty creative writing class. i don't write research papers or arguments. no, i write about how a patch of light makes me feel, and i can write as much poetry as i can stand.

today, in my dorm lobby while the sodexo guy watched it's always sunny in philadelphia, i wrote a rather simple poem about how i didn't think i could write a poem.

for the record, i can write poetry. and i'm rather good at it.

anyway, i should be really excited. i'm writing about awesome things. today's prompt is this.

1. think about a secret place you went to as a child.
2. where was it? what did it feel like? smell like? look like?
3. how do you feel about it now?

i've been trying to write on this all day, but my to-do list got the best of me.

my creative writing professor, dr. vivian, says this about to-do lists, and i for the most part agree: to-do lists make our creativity die a slow, painful, death. one time a student told him "a part of me dies every time i write a list" and he said that he was so moved by this simple truth that he cried.

dr. vivian is a very soft-spoken man who walked into our first class clutching a rose and begged to recite a poem. this is someone i would enjoy being married to.

i agree with what dr. vivian says about how to-do lists can slowly destroy the creative monster that lives within us. that childlike thing that still thinks, "what if i spent the day playing dress up or climbing a tree?" and would take incredible delight in it. to-do lists make that monster hide under the bed to never come out.

as much as i agree with this philosophy, i feel like it perhaps doesn't apply to me. as my philosophy professor, dr. stratton would say, i'm having a moment of touchstone proposition.

having philosophy directly before creative writing is proving to be very interesting.

you know if you've read my previous blogs about my need to be organized. you know that it often fails, but it never fails with my to-do lists. those get done. the things on them don't, but the lists do.

here in my college dorm room, i have my daily planner that travels with me to class and my weekly RA meetings. i have a gigantic calendar that lays across my extra desk (the one without my laptop) and it has everything i need to do. i have a dry-erase calendar on my closet wall. and i have another white board above my gigantic calendar that goes day by day with what i have to do.

right now it says in gigantic letters: MI VIDA! then it says "por lunes: secret essay. paper work. hall meeting at nine. go to bed early. return chapel games. make hall program advertisements. por martes: get up at eight thirty. turn in paperwork. buy spanish book. HOMEWORK. go to walmart?"

to-do lists. i have lots of them all the time and they make me feel productive and organized, even when i'm not doing a single thing on them. like blogging instead of writing that secret essay.

see, right now, i'm sitting at my computer with my back to all my to-do lists. i have a word document open that's completely blank so i can start writing about that secret place of my childhood, but i'm really sitting here blogging, wearing a cute shirt, one slipper, drinking dr. pepper out of a really cut yellow mug with feet, and of course i'm half-watching criminal minds.

to-do lists. distractions. my creative monster is dying. but i also, at the same time, feel like i'm flourishing. i take such pleasure in to-do lists.

but, dr. vivian would still be proud of me because i am writing. he does not care what we write, as long as we write, and that it genuinely comes from us. at the end of this fourteen week course, i will submit 100 pages of original, polished work, and he will critique at least twenty of those pages.

i could cheat and give him a hundred page excerpt from one of my various novels, but i think i'm actually going to write poetry. and i think i might put in a couple of blogs.

so. i have not quite abolished my terrible urge to write. perhaps when i click that big orange button that says PUBLISH POST in a super happy font, i will actually write about that secret place of my childhood.

post script: if you are curious about my poetry, here's a poem just for you!

I am not big enough to hold your big heart
It inflates with every emotion
That you or I present it

I am not big enough to hold your big heart
I have a heart of my own
And it swells with tides

I am not big enough to hold your big heart
Because I am not yet four feet tall
And you have yet to shrink

I am not big enough to hold your big heart
It is anatomical
And mine is from a valentine card

I am not big enough to hold your big heart

there ya go. :)

1 comment:

  1. Three years ago, I developed a system that proved incredibly useful. I do not write "To-Do Lists" anymore; I write "To-Consider Lists." I find that I get a lot more done when I'm not forced to do something. Also, by having a To-Consider List, I recognize that I -should- consider doing everything on the list, but also that my life does NOT end if I do not finish it. Give it a shot. Let me know how it works for you.