Writing Zazen

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Rushing Home to Write

Filed under: Daily Practice,I Remember — Shelley-Lynne Domingue @ 8:38 pm

A warm up mentioned in The Weekend Novelist by Robert J Ray is to write for ten minutes using the start line, “I remember…”

I remember when I used to rush home from work to write. I’d eat something quick, crank up my tunes and sit down at my desk to write. I lived in High Park then on Parkside Drive. I had three other room mates. A guy that grew his own marijuana in his bedroom. His girlfriend who was from Estonia. And another guy who turned me on to the Eurythmics. I can’t for the life of me remember any of their names except the girl Epp. She was the one that mentioned that I might try keeping a daily notebook instead of waiting for inspiration.

In those days, I’d read a writing handbook and do all the writing exercises in it. I didn’t want to take a writing class until I felt I had the skills to write something. I believed that people who took writing classes already knew how to write.
In those days, I’d get ready for bed and keep sitting up to write down the conversations running around in my mind, the poem fragments, the comments. Sometimes I went to work with blood shot eyes because I’d been up so late transcribing the voices in my head.

I remember a long period where I didn’t have a lot of friends. I didn’t associate with the people I worked with at the Bay. I liked to keep my work life separate from my personal life. The bulk of my friends were the Montrealers that came to town for a visit. All my vacation time was spent in Montreal, I wouldn’t dream of staying in Toronto. I didn’t plan on staying here for too long anyway.

Now I’ve been here for 24 years, resigned to the fact that I’ve built a life and finding it hard to see ever leaving. Now I mix my work life with my personal life but not too much to have no escape. Now I see very few Montrealers having lost contact with most of them years ago. Now I rarely hear voices in my head that keep me up late to transcribe but I can often just sit down and write and highlight any gems in that freeflow. Now I rarely wait for inspiration. I have found the techniques that work for me to find it.

I often wonder about my old room mates. Epp who was a talented artist. Her boyfriend, did he ever start a full fledged grow op and ultimately get arrested. And the other guy.


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