My tasks vary. Having just launched my poetry collection last month, and finding myself in a writerly “terra incognita” of my own (between visits back and forth from my hometown of Toronto in Canada, where I first launched my book, and Philadelphia, where I’m currently looking to expand my audience) my work as a “writer” has become more curious: while the book itself is no longer being written, per se, the work of actively organizing and producing new opportunities for the book to get read across borders and amidst various literary circles has just begun.
I see readers as the co-creators of the books writers write. Apart from the occasional moment of internet wanderlust, social media sites have proven to be a necessary component of sharing my work with the world, alongside the work of my publicist at Inanna Publications. Quasi-luddite or not, I am very thankful for the magic of the internet.
I don’t think of myself as superstitious, but I do derive some comfort from checking things off a to-do list. I like to think my overachieving nature has given me a productive edge over life, and often my physical energy seems to exceed the limits and limiting space of writing at the desk. Along these lines, I think the idea of what writers do, is especially misunderstood. We sit at our desks but are ultimately nomadic. We may be more inclined to domesticity, but inside our minds are a whole set of other rooms that need to be tended to. Many of us, while city dwellers, are admirers of the sacred beauty of nature, live in the shadows of Thoreau.
If this sounds too romantic or strange, it is; it is a strange world writers inhabit, being both in the world but ultimately part of several. I try not to let “later” things interrupt my morning flow; phone calls, bills, repairs, shopping, cooking, and all without a car; because being present is most important to me in the early hours, especially if I have somewhere I need to be later on. Even if I find myself contending with a prodigious supply of creative or kinetic energy, or the opposite - feeling less-than-lucid, or more tired than usual, a burn-out on the horizon - I try to hold onto a meditative perspective in the morning. This could be actual meditation as an exercise, or light reading, or quiet, positive, deep thinking; in any case, it always means reminding myself to carpe diem.