Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where to write? At work, with speed and subterfuge.

**No lambs harmed.
I do the work for which I'm hired. A jacket (or "jacket" since it's rectangular, plastic, flat) is placed in my hands and I study every word and image; I evaluate spacing; content; the overall look of an ad or brochure or whatever.  I am a good copyeditor, editor, proofreader and rewriter.

But there are lulls in the workload, and while I'm not going to flourish a feather pen from my pack, adjust my velvet cap or post "Room of One's Own" on the office door, I can "sneak in" writing time. Legitimately. But always with a bit of guilt.

So what.  Guilt doesn't harm a first draft, which can be massively sloppy and incomplete. The point is to get the blood roaring, wake the dragon, blow on the live spark. Once an idea starts to show itself it wants all of itself to be shown and will summon the artist in more legitimate moments of repose to give it its due, to refine and whittle the first draft over and over and over and over.

Sometimes I'm settled in an individual office rather than a cubicle. Because everyone looks busy at a keyboard I am able to hide writing, though for extra insurance use the acting exercise of memory retrieval. Recently the memory I retrieved was of Googling a recipe. I was specific. Looking in later, one of the kids in Traffic might have asked, How was the rack-of-lamb with a persillade of olive oil, garlic cloves, smoked paprika and whole rye bread crumbs?

I thought parts of the above paragraph were voices crying out in the wilderness of a borrowed office, but I lopped them off the poem, many drafts later (writing at home). I let the poem drift.  

It can be helpful, in fact, to force myself to thunder out a draft while at a keyboard at a job because speed and subterfuge numb my conscious mind and the first draft may be usable (as a first draft). What about you?  Do you write at work?  Where do you write? 

**re: the lamb. I eat very little meat and don't cook it at home. Little Lamb, who made thee?

No comments:

Post a Comment