The Writerly Habit

This blog is about my struggles to get into the habit of writing regularly.

The Top Ten Moments of the Decade

Another year ending, this time the close of a decade. The news stations have compiled their top ten lists of the moments that made the decade. The rise of gossip media and Britney shaving her head have made the list. Where are the truly monumental moments, the ones that reached past trash media and truly impacted our lives?

Somehow, Heath Ledger's death holds more weight than President Bush declaring war on Iraq, or the fact that we've learned to speak a new language. Words like Fallujah and Abu Ghraib have infiltrated our everyday conversations. We all know what it means to pull a Columbine (4/99), it's eerie remnants echo through countless campus killings including Virginia Tech, that have plagued this past decade.

We've learned to associate terror with the skin color and culture of a people, easily forgetting the domestic terror that happens in homes across America. Somehow, a father slipping into his daughter's bed at night is less important than imposing our idea of freedom on a country thousands of miles away. Our soldiers laying dead in the sand, their bodies blown apart by i.e.d's, have become the new face of patriotism.

People live in Tent City, along I-25 and other areas in Colorado Springs, driven there by adjustable rate mortgages and unemployment while our city government offers $53 million in incentives to keep the U.S. Olympic Training Center from moving it's headquarters. The poor are left to suffer and die, yet their deaths get less air time than the increase in cosmetic surgeries over the last ten years.

Perhaps, as the decade closes, we should take a look at our media and the ignorance it perpetuates. Realize that this has been a decade of indifference. That we are no longer surprised by deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan or pictures of prisoner abuse. The poor of this country continue to suffer. Children in less affluent areas, and around the world, still get hookworm and other diseases for want of a pair of shoes while celebrities spend over $1,000 on a single pair. We aren't shocked by this, worse yet, many seek to emulate this behavior.

Resolve, as a new decade begins, to open your eyes to these disparities. See your contribution to the media mentality that seeks to dictate importance. Recognize what is truly worth fighting for and what can be done without.

Blocks


I started this week with a great writing meeting. Every so often, I meet with friends from last summer's creative nonfiction class. I was pretty happy that we actually talked about writing this time, normally we just socialize. Anyway, we met last week and assigned a prompt (write about a current event), then this week we were to bring work to share. Despite being unwilling to work on it most of the week, I managed to write 2.5 pages. I went to the coffee shop early and wrote before the meeting. While I was there, we talked a lot about blocks. For me, it isn't that I don't think I have anything worthwhile to say or that I don't have any ideas. I have plenty of ideas and have come to accept my viewpoint as valid and worthwhile. When it comes to writing...well I just don't want to.

I know I need to write, but I somehow can't bring myself to sit down and do it. A friend of mine suggested that it might be an environmental problem. That is entirely possible. When I am at home, I am distracted by other things I could (or think I should) be doing instead. My friend recommended going to a coffee shop at a designated time in order to write. She says I need to treat it like a job. It would be interesting to see if my output increases if I get out of the house. I'll try it.

What I'd really like is to be motivated to work from home. The environment is more comfortable and the tea is better (not to mention free). If you are listening, Pikes Perk on North Academy, your green tea is horribly bitter. Any ideas on motivating myself to work at home?


Image from The Wandering Eater