What with the end of the school year, I haven't been writing much. But I've found time to do a lot of other things while I "ought" to have been writing--playing music, tinkering around with electronic crap, and today, taking a bunch of pictures.
I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, writing is my vocation, and ought to take it seriously enough to do it every day, regardless of my immediate desires. When I don't "feel like it," I am really cowering in the face of the work's difficulty. I oughta man up and get to work. I have a colleague, in fact, who told me I shouldn't even be blogging--to do so, he says, is to squander mental energy that ought to be expended on my work.
On the other hand, writing is the only job that you can safely claim to always be doing. Everything is research. This is kind of a running joke among writers, but it's true. You honestly never know which of your apparently mundane experiences will magically transmute themselves into good work. Indeed, the one experience that is least likely to inspire great writing is the act of writing itself.
But honestly--I spend way, way more time on my hobbies than I do on my writing. Part of it is laziness, I suppose, but most of it is that I want to make sure that I'm always allowing the world to stimulate me. And I want to engage all the parts of myself, in the hope that those experiences will seep in to wherever the mojo is kept.
Tomorrow, at last, I am getting back to my novel. I'm very relieved--I need to be working on something. And last night, while I was lying awake in bed, having spent a week doing nothing but reading student essays, playing the bass guitar, dragging a piano through the snow (don't ask), reading a true crime paperback, watching the Seinfeld DVD's and getting annoyed with my kids, I came up with three or four absolutely vital moves I will need to apply to this rewrite, and wrote them down, with great excitement, in the dark.
Would I have thought of them had I spent the week trying to write something else? I honestly have no idea. But I do know I will happily spend any number of future weeks wasting time, in an effort to replicate this success.