Writing Prose on Company Time
Glorious day today. The rain's let up and the sun's streaming through the pines. Today's my day off from school work. Meredith took Lucas to daycare and left me at home with Nolan, who is a glorious sleeper. He'll sleep for two to three hour stretches--plenty of time to get some writing in. So that's what I did today. Only I didn't write any poetry. I had a deadline for a food essay that came and went and I was graciously granted an extension. I don't normally ask for extensions for pieces, but in this case I desperately needed one given the end of the quarter, my growing responsibilities, and all the other bureaucracy accompanied with being a university/government employee.
Essay writing's difficult for me. At least the writing of a conventional essay is difficult for me. I've mentioned this before in previous postings--my attention span is so attenuated. I cannot sustain a continuous stream of thought over pages and pages. My mind jumps, leaps, bends around words and kernels of thought only to be distracted again with some other tangential thought.
Still, I suppose the derivation of the word "essay" should be instructive to me about my process. It's derrivation if you're not aware, is from the French infinitive "essayer" meaning "to try" or "to attempt." So I've given it the old college try and what I'm noticing is I'm more suited to writing braided essays than anything conventional or traditional. My colleague, Brenda Miller is a champ at this genre.
Anyway, it seems like the braided essay is the best sort of way to write essays for me. It allows for my short attention span. It's a generous possibility for the work that won't fit in a poem.
Check out these poems by dear friend, Sarah Gambito: Holiday and other poems.
Something slow and quiet while the baby sleeps.