Friday, March 04, 2005

The best laid plans

For the past couple of years of med school, during which I have studied until my mind was dull, I often thought how fun -- and how easy -- it would be to write. Alas, I rarely found the time to write, as my studies and/or clinical duties demanded my attention anywhere from 10-24 hours per day, but I always thought wistfully of how blissful such a pursuit would be. A recollection came often to my mind of an article I had read which stated that Stephen King, one of the most prolific of contemporary writers, could produce as many as 1500 words(!) per day; yet that total struck me as rather mediocre. I knew that I myself could write 1500 words in a couple of hours, so surely I could produce at least five times that much in a single day! Hmmm...

I'm working on a short story at present, and I must admit that my previous conceptions of the writing life are proving far askance from reality. Don't get me wrong, I've written many a short story before, so the realization of the difficulty of writing comes as somewhat of a shock to me now. Though I cannot say for sure why I have begun to suffer this newfound difficulty, I suspect that my medical training has had a sure influence: whether by instilling in me a greater appreciation for economy (as all medical communication places a priority on being succinct), by making me more intently focused on the quality of my product, or even perhaps by robbing me of some of my basic literary facility, med school has made it exquisitely more painful for me to write. In any event, my goal of writing a novel before beginning my residency on July 1st may prove daunting indeed, and will surely require me to eliminate needless distracions from my daily routine. Hence, I may pass on addictive but time-sucking activities such as Texas Hold'Em. Man, I'm gonna miss Texas Hold 'Em.

Meanwhile, with this resolution fresh in my mind I just spent an hour on my girlfriend's couch watching America's Next Top Model. Way to go, Ian. That's time well spent, buddy.

P.S. More acurately, I spent an hour coughing, sneezing, hacking, wheezing, and generally making the world a snottier place to be, all while watching America's Next Top Model on my girlfriend's couch. I am tormented by millions of organisms that don't even meet the minimum criteria for life. Humbling, indeed.


At 8:49 AM, Blogger Janine said...

America's next top model?? Yeesh! Interesting stuff on the writing. You do it well, so I hope you find the time to follow that interest!

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Yeah, America's Next Top Model...I'll never get that hour back. That is, unless I undergo experimental psychiatric treatments from the '70s -- see above post.

Thanks for the encouragement on the writing!

At 7:45 AM, Blogger KarbonKountyMoos said...

Well, when you're as busy as you are - and trying to put more irons in the fire, you need to just veg sometimes. Hope that you're feeling less phlegmy, and good luck on the writing!

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Ian said...

Alas, the phegming continues. But at least I'm enjoying reading Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser, which so far is a very engaging read. Thanks for the good wishes!


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