From that well-named blog at Going Down Swinging comes a very good post by poet Paul Mitchell, on how to manage that burning problem shared by so many Australian writers. I speak of the problem of failing to build your house in the desert, or in other words, writing for a quid instead of staking all on your masterpiece... oh, you know, working more than one job at a time.
I like the image in the second paragraph here.
Ah, that’s why he hasn’t written a bestseller. Can’t concentrate.
Well, I’d like to. But unlike that icon of writing, Cormac McCarthy, I’m not prepared to build my own stone house in the desert, eat little more than potatoes for several years, and have a series of ‘housekeepers’ type up my manuscripts. I’ve got a youngish family. School bills. All kinds of other bills that are far more creative in pricing than any of my writing.
So I’m a switcheroo.
A friend suggested recently that I am also a ‘spaghetti thinker’. I can pull out a strand of spag (writing) from my saucy brain, work it round in my fingers, gobble it, and then pull out another strand. All without disturbing the whole bowl of pasta. Maybe that’s true. Or I’m just good at time management. Or I am good at switching on and off in short periods. But the question of how switcheroo writers do what we do is probably not as important as how we do it without going insane.
There's also Megan Anderson's terrific looking interview with female Beat poet Hettie Jones, which I am yet to read.