Do what you love, and watch Ally McBeal

That a month and a half has passed between my first post and this one goes to show how tough it is finding time to write when you work full-time. It can be a frustrating, fragmented process, in which multi-tasking skills are truly put to the test. This post alone took several sittings, and I had no idea what the hell I was even writing about. I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it, too: But Sarah, you have to make time to write. It’s true, and I do waste a lot of time just getting sucked into the internet hole. But besides the internet, that other thing, life, gets in the way.

Inspiration strikes at some of the most inconvenient times and in awkward places. The other day I was taking on the T to work, post-gym, in full-out bag lady mode with my gym backpack and my work bag and my purse, standing up, packed in with the rest of the cattle, and sweating under all of my confused Spring weather layers…and all of these ideas started coming to me. Not a great time to want to write. Ideas also grace me with their presence during my harried walk to work, teasing me, inspired in part I’m sure by all of the crazy characters one encounters in any city. I keep walking, excited to jot down ideas and notes as soon as I get to my desk…

…and then I open my work email and the workday begins, and those ideas scurry away and hide like shy little animals. (See further elaboration on what work does to my ideas)

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Me at work, most days.

When I get home, inexplicably exhausted from sitting in front of a computer, well, I usually don’t feel like writing then either. If I’m not doing laundry and all that other necessary household stuff, my inner petulant child kicks in. I rebel against my self-assigned tasks (and my diet) and zone out in front of Ally McBeal reruns, my Netflix fix as of late, with some wine and a box of Cheez-Its. Writing suddenly feels like homework, and chores and homework are less appealing than being lazy, which I have a right to do, dammit!

The Onion has it right, though: “Do what you love…in between work commitments, and family commitments, and commitments that tend to pop up and take immediate precedence over doing the thing you love. You deserve the chance—hell, you owe it to yourself—to pursue those dreams when you only have enough energy to change out of your work clothes and make yourself a half-assed dinner before passing out.” (Yep. Sigh.)

In all seriousness, though, I love writing. So finding making time to write is part of the reason I have decided to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing. I hemmed and hawed about it for a long time for many reasons, but I couldn’t be happier about my decision to do it! It will provide me with the structure I need, motivation to pursue writing as an actual vocation, and a network of actual published authors with a lot of experience. I already know that many of the professors are awesome, and the school is covering the cost, because I work there.

So here’s to pursuing your passion in between work hours and sleeping, between bill-paying and dishes, and everything else that tries to get in the way. And relaxation time IS important too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go catch up with Ms. McBeal.

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