Last week—during the week—there were no fewer than 7 readings in Houston. And readings—and their high frequency and quality—seem to be a perennial source of confusion for writers in this city. Bring up readings to a student in the Creative Writing Program at UH and you’ll likely hear either excitement: “I know! I can’t wait,” or quiet guilt and dread—as though each reading torments like another book one hasn’t read and, you know, really should—“Gah, I haven’t been to a single one yet.” Trying to navigate this writing life that I’m supposed to have—which I’m learning means “that I’m supposed to make for myself”—is not what I expected when I was dreaming about it in my Business Statistics class three years ago: drinking coffee and letting brilliance flow from my fingers for hours a day.
Nope. When the time comes every day for me to write it’s like, I don’t reeealy have to write today, right? Which may not seem like a compelling argument right now, but that argument comes—from the Devil, I think—via my sleeping self at 6:00 or so in the mornings. And I’ve proven pretty much unable to beat it so far. That adds up to a lot of days of not-writing. And when I do sit down to write—when I steal a few minutes at work or in the afternoons or evenings (something gave me the guts this past Sunday afternoon)—writing turns out to be hard work. More simply put: writing is work. Like real, actual work. Amazing. Continue reading