Life beyond the windows and walls

This week, my thoughts are bursting with creative ideas, especially desires to write prose or compose songs. These thoughts are interspersed with the need to go outside and see nature away from the city. These count as three different things, to me: writing, music, and fresh air. I can’t report much from any of these urges yet, though, because I’ve been busy, first in recovering from last weekend’s illness, and then in just catching up on what was dropped or on the usual everyday chores. It looks like this weekend will also be full, as I’m hosting family dinner again on Sunday and will need to clean house before that, plus taxes are rapidly becoming due. I know the key is to make time for what one really wants to do. That’s always been difficult for me, though

The writing urges aren’t very focused yet. I’m trying to figure out what sort of story I would want to write or what plot or message interests me. I must admit that I don’t read much fiction, and haven’t in years, though that’s what I’d like to write. This kind of shames me. What sort of writer could I be if I don’t read much? But I have read. And I could read. I certainly see a lot of fiction in my day job, and though I can’t read much of it I do read bits and pieces. (It’s not my job to read, just crank out composed pages—you’d be surprised how well and how fast that can go if the layout is simple). It’s a self-imposed shame that is no help, of course.

As for music, the easiest thing would be to dive back into the piles of half-written songs and finish some songs. Just throw the piles on the kitchen table and sort through them with the guitar on my lap and start dinking around till something happens. I don’t think they’re unfinished because they suck. More likely it was other, non-musical reasons they were left undone. In the process of doing that, it would be very possible that a completely new song would spring up. It just needs the time set aside.

The outdoorsy urges are a different sort of thing, maybe not creative in one way but possibly so in the sense of opening myself up to something that doesn’t exist in my day-to-day life at the moment. I alluded to it recently, though it wouldn’t take a full-fledged wilderness sojourn to begin to satisfy that need. A hike in one of the metroparks or recreation areas in metro Detroit/Ann Arbor could be cool. It might not be quite as stunning as some of the photos I’ve been seeing in outdoorsy Tumblrs* I’ve seen lately, but … well, I’m from Michigan and smaller vistas have their appeal.

Ultimately, one has to make time for the things one wants to do. If it means actually getting up from the computer for once, as radical as that sounds…..

* I should do a list of these when I get home. They’re pretty cool, and for some reason I never saw many blogs with photos of wild places till I stumbled into Tumblr’s users who do this.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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5 Responses to Life beyond the windows and walls

  1. maxauburn says:

    I’m afraid I’m right there with you, Charlie.

    I have hundreds of books here that I never
    read.

    I used to read a book a week. That was in
    1987.

    Then, we got cable tv in 1989.
    I got the internet in 1999.

    Now, I rarely read- unless it’s stuff online.

    We need to get back into reading!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if “need” is the best way to think about it. I remember “need”ing to read for college and that was a lot of pressure. But if it’s enjoyable and we wanna, we should.

    I was thinking, one of the vague ideas for a story I have is something about a character who discovers the world contains the supernatural characters we read about, like werewolves and shapechanges. Well, there are lots of books already about that, and I haven’t read any of them, really. It would be good to find some and see what’s been write already before trying to write something myself. (That’s just a for-example; my idea isn’t far enough along other than that to do anything with.)

    But yeah, I have a few hundred books too, and a lot of them are here because I thought they’d be fun to read. Good thing books don’t spoil, huh? (Well, as long as I keep the roof over them…)

  3. maxauburn says:

    Yeah, I could have said “We ought to read more” instead of “We need to read.”

    I’m just tired of feeling guilty every time I walk past my books, and, I have books all over my apartment in shelves: in my bedroom,
    in the living room, some in the bathroom, and the storage room.

    Your story idea sounds intriguing!

    • songdogmi says:

      Your story idea sounds intriguing!

      Thanks! But the problem with not reading much is, I’m sure that not only has the idea been done, it’s been done by pretty notable writers. It probably could stand to be done again, but the next writer has to be careful not to re-do what’s been done well before. That’s where reading comes in. Back when I was reading, I mostly read either mainstream fiction or science fiction. I like fantasy in general, but I haven’t read a lot of it.

      • maxauburn says:

        I’m more into science fiction myself, too,
        and not so much interested in fantasy.

        There’s nothing you can write that hasn’t already been written, but you can put your own unique spin on it.

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