Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Missing Deadlines

08:04:00 Posted by Lara Clayton , , , , , 2 comments

When I finished my MA, last year, I was looking forward to the freedom. I’d spent a total of five years studying (three years undergrad and two years post-grad) without a break, and there was something quite romantic and soothing about the idea of a time without deadlines.

I imagined I would use my freed up hours to work on a poetry pamphlet, read more of the fiction I’d side-lined in favour of poetry, take walks to the park and along the beach, spend more time sitting in coffee shops people watching and writing, and finally stop delaying sending out my poems to poetry magazines. But three months later I have slipped into 2013, and many of the things that I thought I’d have time to do haven’t been recognised. So often what we are capable of imagining is far easier than what we are able to implement in reality. We are predisposed (as writers and human beings) to make excuses: the laundry needs doing, the house needs cleaning, a day of work has left me too tired, I don’t feel creative enough to write (so I’ll watch some shite TV programme instead). It turns out the deadlines I looked forward to losing were actually the very thing that offered structure, told the excuses to f**k off, and forced me to prioritise what was important to me. Without them I just bob on life’s turbulent waves, riding time out without really using it.

Therefore, for me, 2013 will be about using my spare time more effectively. Questioning the excuses when they spill effortlessly from my mouth, and making what I actually want, actually happen.

Thank you for reading,


Ashley R Lister said...

Wholly agree. Life without deadlines is a life without structure.

Do you have a deadline for when you're submitting your first poetry pamphlet?


vicky ellis said...

Isn't it annoying that time and inclination are inversely related when it comes to writing poetry? Long stretches of time seem to contain very little activity however we are inclined to squeeze 2 hours of work into 10 minutes when that's all we have. There's probably a scientific principle in effect.

If there is a sciencey theory then maybe a boffin can figure out how to counteract the effect.

If you find out, please let us all in on it :)