For Wednesday, December 16, 2015:
“Arrange whatever pieces come your way.”
If you are a writer who works in more than one genre, can you do more than one project at the same time? If so, I envy you! For the most part I can write in only one at a time.
It’s frustrating sometimes. The best I can do is jot down quick thoughts or a certain word for, say, a possible poem if I happen to be immersed in writing fiction. For some reason, my brain seems to be wired in a way that can process only one working genre at a time. So I go through periods of time – sometimes long ones – where I write poetry only, and then others where it’s primarily fiction. The one genre that can cross the boundaries in my brain and my work is creative non-fiction.
Maybe it’s a right brain-left brain thing. My reading material doesn’t seem to affect my work, though. I can read poetry and non-fiction while writing fiction, or fiction while working out a poem. I just can’t write in them.
Is this what Woolf meant? I don’t know. I do know, though, that I don’t fret about it anymore. Instead I go with the flow, as it were. If I’m in a poetry period, I don’t push my fiction brain, and vice versa. I’ve learned the words will come when they come.
Sometimes life intervenes, of course, and I have to respond with a poem or two or a story when I’m working on something else. At those times, the interruption — the arrangement, perhaps? — seems to work. It gets me over the hurdle of emotion and I can get back to what I had been working on.
Am I alone in this, or in the minority? I’ve always wondered …