Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sleepy Writing

A peculiar thing happens when I sit down to write sometimes. It's almost exclusive to when I write something related to my manuscript. I'll read through the section I've written most recently to get back into that place of the story, and after about 20 minutes my head begins drooping downward, threatening to hit the computer on its way to Nap Time. This happens regardless of whether or not I'm fully rested.

It's a phenomenon that puzzles me to no end, and truthfully it's quite inconvenient. This semester I have to work hard to even find the time to write my own stuff, and a half-hour snooze is not part of the schedule. What is the source of this acute fatigue? Does it happen because I feel overwhelmed to write a 200-pg story about my life that no one will likely care about anyway? Is it some sort of narcolepsy spurred by stress? Is it caused by the emotional investment it takes to find the truth of a story and write it in an original way? Or, worst yet, do I bore myself?

I asked my roommate and fellow CNF student Adri (you may know her from AskAdri.com) whether she's experienced this. Sure, she said. Sometimes she'll nap when writing, and those naps are actually productive because they're full of dreams about her story. Hmmm. I think I usually dream too, though I haven't later noticed what the dreams were about or whether they influenced my writing. But at least someone else could relate, which partially alleviated the fear that I've just picked up another freakish habit.

A few months ago, I was even more relieved when reading an interview with JeAnne Marie Laskas (a prolific writer who is also one of my favorite professors) on Mediabistro.com, in which the interviewer asked how she knows where to begin writing after spending weeks gathering information for her immersion journalism pieces. JML replied something like, "That's when I take lots of naps." Ahhh. An award-winning, experienced writer confesses to this sleepy-writer syndrome--maybe it's actually a good thing!

With confirmation from other writers, I'm starting to think it truly has something to do with that spiritual place one goes when creating art. Perhaps it's the brain's transition from left-brain thinking to right-brain thinking. I like this option best.

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Well, of course Obama will get the black vote, but could Palin get the women?""

Do they think we all base our votes on the constructs of gender, religion, and race that society puts on us? Could Obama really get all the black votes, just because he is black? Not because he is an intelligent and competent patriot? Could we admit that perhaps those people who have dark skin use their minds, they read and research, they vote based on a myriad of values and experiences they’ve had individually? Preposterous.


"The names at the top of the ballot on Nov. 4 will be McCain and Obama, but the juicier battle this fall for an important group of swing voters — white working women with children — may be fought between the other two stars of the Republican and Democratic conventions, Sarah Palin and Hillary Rodham Clinton." nytimes.com, 9-5-08

Let us reduce people to skin color, gender, religion, because people are not more than the sum of their parts, and those parts are solely what motivates them.


Sometimes I hate the media.