Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 > Daily Dispatch #95

April 5, 2014: The Writing Life: Time Out

So my having determined to forego the next two days of the K-9 avalanche workshop, and as well, upcoming K-9 search and rescue training means I now have more time to do things on the home front. My decision has gotten me to thinking that time itself is fluid. Like water, it moves into all available areas. It never ceases to amaze me how, when I dive into water, everything immediately gets wet. Yes, time is like this. Take a break from doing one thing and another materializes.

This is the onset of breakup, so today I’ll work on cleaning out the horse pen. Water is moving and crud is surfacing. I

am also going to resume work on my proposal for the University of Alaska Press. It’s now entitled Writing Sustainably: Unearthing the Creative Process. Pete came up with the first part, and I came up with the second part. This proposal must be near done because I can now summarize (succinctly) what this book is about. As I’m now telling people, it’s a book in which I attempt to answer the question, how it that I’ve managed to create a lifestyle that enable me to both live and write sustainably? It’s the healthy body healthy mind trip.

I’ve been thinking that Writing Sustainably is actually a fictional account, since I have not yet constructed a healthy lifestyle. Rather, all I’ve done is laid a very shaky foundation. Pete’s been and remains the breadwinner, and I’ve been the cling on. The truth be known, our trip expenses put us in debt. Plus, we now have a very expensive hobby. So soon (that is when I finish this proposal) I’m going to need to find work that pays. I will not then have much time to write or take care of things around the place.

What I want, and have wanted for some time, is a job teaching creative nonfiction in an MFA program. My thinking has been that the best way to get such a job is by first getting a book contract with a reputable publisher. What logically should follow is a large number of sales. Heck, everyone is going to want to know how I figured out how to live and write sustainably, right? I still believe that this will come to be; however, I can hear the clock ticking. But soon the bell will toll. I’ll then have to grab my black roll top lunch box and head out the door, in the direction of the coal mine. I’ll fall in behind the other failed artists, and together we will chip away at something more substantial than our so-called “creative endeavors.”

No one I know will be the least bit empathetic in hearing about my plight. This is because most are not in a position to empathize. The prevailing attitude is “I work hard for a living, so why do you think that you ought not? What do you think you are, the queen bee? Put on your hard hat, turn on your lantern, and get to work. And don’t come running to me if the canary dies.”

What these individuals have failed to realize is that I’ve been working hard for a long, long time. I have no regrets about having decided to move to an area where there are no teaching jobs, for in the past ten years I’ve made considerable writerly progress. My proposal is proof positive of this. I could not have written something this riveting (har har) five years ago. Also, this proposal is so far along that it is an actual book outline. Thus, I will be able to write the book in a very short amount of time. Today I will continue working on it. Today is what matters. Tick, tick, tick.

Next: 96. 4/6/14: Horse Training: A Conversation with Hrimmi