Friday, March 06, 2009

The Writing Life

I spend most of my day writing and reading, which is part of my job, but is also what I love to do. At my office, I write things for my clients; I read things my clients and prospective clients might be interested in; and I read what my staff writes for my clients (and edit it, usually heavily). At home and on the go, I read websites, books, magazines and newspapers. And I write for myself and readers like you - here and on Twitter, as well as working on my sixth book and the occasional poem or piece of light verse. I used to teach writing, which is essentially what I try to do when I'm editing, and someday I'd like to do that again.

This started a very long time ago. I've previously mentioned a report I wrote for school, on lined paper. In pencil. My handwriting was then, and still is, fairly large, so it was 20 pages long. I was four.

But what do I, sadly, spend most of my writing time on? That's right, email. I have three e-mail accounts I check frequently, and I send hundreds of emails (and IMs) a day. And I can't bring myself to write ungrammatically, or to send a long message when a short one would be better (which, as with anything written, is almost always true). It has taken over my life, and my Blackberry (I've had one since 2001) is simply an enabler.

Hello, I'm Glamourbrain, and I'm an email addict. It's taken over my life, and it takes away precious time that could be spent writing things that actually matter. Not to mention how much effort it takes to stay on top of the incoming deluge when curiosity (or distraction, if one's writing time is devoted to prescriptions) is a defining trait.

So I was very pleased to see this helpful New York Times article. It has some ideas I plan to try. There are only just so many writing hours in the week, and I'd like to spend fewer of them trying to find some message I meant to respond to.

I like this list of books on writing, too. Though my problem has never been the "how" of writing, nor the "why." I write for most of my waking hours. It's "what" I write "when" that bedevils me.

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