Note: This blog post is not intended for people who drive to work. If you drive, please concentrate!
My commute to work takes between twenty-five minutes and an hour-and-a-half, dependent on traffic. Crazy, right? My town has a problem with traffic flow – which means if one thing goes wrong, the whole traffic system gets snarled up. And it doesn’t just happen at the times you’d expect (8.30am and 5pm) – no, it can be bad at 3.30 on Saturday afternoon, or 11.15 on a Tuesday morning. It’s completely unpredictable.
To be honest if I get really stuck I tend just to get off the bus and walk. It’s quicker. Unless it’s pouring with rain (which it does a lot where I live). Then I tough it out on the bus.
Anyway, what does this have to do with creativity?
I write a lot of my poetry when I’m on the bus. Sounds a bit of an odd place to do it, right? When I started writing poetry (not all that long ago), inspiration first struck on a train making it’s way through Southern Spain on the way to Seville. I honestly don’t know why there, or why then and not before, I just started to write, and I’ve kept going since then.
I think being in a space with limited resources and time makes you just go with the flow. I don’t agonise over each word – I just go with my train of thought, and let it spill out onto the page. Of course it takes plenty of revision after that; looking at what I’ve written and then editing it & making sense of it. Also, if I’m stuck in traffic, I get really bored, so it passes the time.
Writing poetry is really my form of the morning pages. If you want to know what morning pages are, blogger Little Coffee Fox gives a good breakdown here. What I do isn’t a conventional use of the morning pages, but I guess that’s the point – it’s convention is that it can be used in any way. So I use it to empty of my brain of anything that’s bugging me or whirring around my skull. It helps because it means that I start my work day without chewing over whatever I might have been thinking about since I woke up.
The handwriting when I’m done usually takes a bit of deciphering, especially when the bus has gone over various potholes on the way through the roads. It usually where most of my poems start off from.
Do you do any writing in seemingly odd places? In a treehouse? In the bath? In some castle ruins?! Let me know in the comments!