Monday, July 30, 2012

Partial cure for worries and tribulations

One benefit of writing is that it comes to occupy what used to be 'worry time'.    You know what I'm talking about:   waiting in a doctor's office with only old magazines to read; sitting in an hour long line-up to cross the border or waiting for your flight to board;  or a hot and humid night when sleep seems impossible to find.   In the past these periods of time were ideal for your mind to turn to delicate issues to be dealt with, conversations that ended badly or the co-worker who seems to be conspiring to steal your job.   Why had he said this or why had you done that?   What should you do about your child's mathematics mark?   Should you encourage your parents to move to a care home?  

I daresay some of this is necessary although many things in life have a way of working out with  benign neglect.   Worrying and obsessing over small details can become a habit.   No sooner do you sit down with your sewing in your easy chair or start your morning commute than you run through your mental file cabinet of issues that you can analyze and agonize over.

Writers can find different solutions.   There are always plot lines to be worked out, character development to contemplate or new possibilities to consider for the next sequel or a new work.  This is productive use of your time.  It is safer as well.   No more dashing off of e-mail invectives late at night after stewing on an offhand remark by a friend.   The main downside I have found is that when I wake up the next day I have almost entirely forgotten the fascinating subplot that  that I spent an hour or more embroidering to fruition before I fell asleep.


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