Poetry and Unidentifiable Fruit

It’s amazing how seemingly mundane things tend to give me the greatest amount of fodder for my writing.

Most recently, it was my trip to the grocery store that flicked the light bulb. Perhaps the fact that it was a 2am trip wasn’t very ordinary, but the act of shopping is one of the most basic human necessities. The store was empty, save for an old couple going slowly down each aisle and a middle-aged couple in front of me at the checkout counter. There was one cashier working, and he was involved in a complicated price check for the middle-aged couple.

The price check quest for the unidentifiable fruit-like object gave me time for reflection. As I stared at my three items on the conveyor belt, I was hit with the sudden need to write a poem. I pulled up the memo app on my phone and started tapping away. By the time the cashier was handing the people in front of me their receipt, I had a finished rough draft.

How did baking soda, chocolate Twizzlers, and a votive candle (don’t ask how these things go together, because I’m not telling) lead me to a poem when I had been tearing my hair out over writing something for a week? In a nutshell, it’s because I slowed down and really noticed them. Each item had a purpose, a reason for pulling me out of the comfort of a warm house into the freezing cold night.

When I thought about the purpose they served, they were more than just objects I was purchasing. They became a story with a deep meaning. They were items that stood for something somber (in my case). At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, they were items that helped shape me in a very weird and obscure way.

Take some time today to really notice something, even if it’s just taking a moment to study a building on your way home from work. Great stories can come from anywhere and anything.

The Attempt to Find Time

So, my college days are over. I graduated in May and landed a job at a local school by August. And as if that weren’t enough, I got hitched in September. Life’s pretty great right now.

I’m lacking balance though. Yeah, I worked 4 jobs through college and balanced a full course load and social life. I thought my schedule would leave me more than prepared for the real world. After all, I wouldn’t have to work a variety of jobs to keep myself afloat once I had a “real” job. In some ways, I was right. In other ways, I’m not done transitioning to adulthood.

I miss having my Friday afternoons off. There’s no such thing as random days off in education, nor are there days that are just 8 hours long. Gone are the time gaps in my schedule that allowed me to pen a blog post or jot down a paragraph to a new fiction piece. Gone are the days where there are no responsibilities or chores to come home to.

Yet, the past few months have been my most productive. I’ve revised a significant portion of my current works in progress. I’ve started mapping out new projects. I have articles written for an outside website on Rheumatoid Arthritis that will be published soon. The amount of time I have to spend on blogging has been greatly reduced, but I’m working overtime to push my writing out into the world. I would consider that a small win.

I’ve been working in spurts. Some weeks are lazy and unproductive. I spend others writing like I only have a few days left to live. Hence the balancing problem. I’m writing, just not the way I should be. I want to come to a point in my balancing act where every day is spent with words. I want to read and absorb great writing and write plenty of great pieces myself. I guess that comes with time and life experience though.