11 Things To Do on a Writing Day

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by Ashley David

  1. Play with the feral kittens that you are taming.
  2. Play with your own animals so they won’t be jealous of the interlopers.
  3. Do your best to avoid crying because your lovely old car blew a head gasket.
  4. Have your car towed to another garage to confirm the diagnosis.
  5. Shop for new (old) cars online.
  6. Pay bills (while it is still possible to do so).
  7. Water and weed the garden (because you will be living on collards, it turns out).
  8. Remember at the last minute that you must attend a lecture, and bike there.
  9. Add dinner with the lecture crew to your evening (and skip over the collards on the menu).
  10. Rally a blog crew for MQR, and share the news before Monday is officially over.

Despite my best intentions some writing days, perhaps too many writing days, become other sorts of days. Life intrudes. I’d like to think that it’s okay. I’d like to think that these intrusions are, in fact, necessary. That life is what ultimately makes good writing days happen. Sometimes, however, and sometimes for long stretches, living doesn’t seem to include much writing. When this happens, I start to feel like I need a little help to remember who I am.

Thankfully, I have a slew of folks strewn across the planet who, unbeknownst to them, help me (re)locate myself by virtue of who and where they are. Much as I learned to do at sea, I draw lines from the various reference points of my life to me, and this intersection of two or more metaphorical lines of sight tells me my position, reminds me who and where I am, and, in effect, keeps me on course. No matter the blown head gasket and the thousand and one other things that I’ve been occupied with lately, I remember that yes, I am a writer, and yes, I will write again.

So today, as I did not write and instead did many other things, some of which were perhaps avoidable and others of which were urgent, I spent some time thinking about the MQR blog plan and the crew that I’m assembling to bring you more diverse fodder than I could possibly cook up on my own. I realized that I’ve employed a strategy to chart the MQR blog world that closely resembles my personal charting strategies.

In the coming weeks and months you will be treated to blogs hailing from a crew of poets, writers, artists, musicians, and thinkers living and traveling throughout the US, across the pond, and points beyond. They will share, for example, musings on teaching Socrates in prison, tasty bits on Anatolian cooking in Istanbul, diaries from a first-book tour, the ins and outs of Detroit lit and spoken word, the MC scene in Budapest, translating, publishing, writing, life. Beginning shortly, blog treats will come your way from Dilruba Ahmed, Geoffrey Brock, Lily Brown, Nik de Dominic, Joshua Edwards, Vievee Francis, Leigh Gallagher, Tricia Khleif, Randall Mann, Fiona Stewart, Ann Marie Thornburg, Richard Tillinghast, and Jennifer Tomscha.

I hope that you will draw sight lines from all the points in this grab bag of treats to yourself.  If you do, and all goes according to my plan, I imagine that you’ll find an intersection that not only locates the heart of the MQR blog, but also helps you to locate your own heart when you’re feeling a little disoriented and unlike yourself. You’ll find a beacon that guides you back into your writing and reading life whenever the fog rolls in. It is my sincere hope that these diverse bits will resonate in ways that inspire, comfort, provoke, and locate you.

When next you find yourself with a day like my day today, when nothing seems to go as planned and you can’t quite remember who you are, please add the following item to your list of must do’s before the day is officially over:

11. Read the MQR Blog and join the conversation. (& remember who you are.)

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