I had one of those very long jobs today. A long job where I'm on alert to whenever I'm needed. Where I'm surrounded by people and some of them don't have good boundaries. Where I have to know where not only the clients I'm interpreting for are, but where everyone is; what mood their in; is a situation escalating and could become a physical danger (yes, even for me). So I'm "on" even when I'm not interpreting - not actively engaged in the thing I'm there to do.
And I've tried different things when I'm there. Reading a novel (limited success and I have to keep in mind where I'm going and I won't take some things I'm reading); I tend to read deeply and one of two things can happen - (a) is that I get absorbed in the book and am not monitoring my surroundings and miss my call to action (be that being needed to interpret or needing to move to a new location to avoid being caught in a fight or mishap), or (b) that I have to keep rereading and will have to later go over everything I read because I am keeping it at a more surface level so I can monitor the space. So, reading a novel is not the most successful thing for me to do. Reading a magazine or sometimes short stories is easier: Poets & Writers, The Writer, work well - I can scan and circle information and make notes and it's easy to be interrupted and not lose my place and to maintain one eye and ear on the room around me.
And writing. Not so successful. Sometimes I can do a little editing - if the piece is near ready. Again it's a matter of focus and/or content. Some of the material I've been writing would not be good to have someone come along and look over my shoulder, or for there to be an urgent situation and I leave it on the counter and someone takes it. No. Therefore my creativity has been at a bit of a loss in this setting where I gone on an infrequent yet regular basis. Not a good fit.
But today! Today was different. I've been in the mode of writing on the memoir/creative non-fiction. I'm nearing the completion of the book (although I keep thinking of more that I could put in it; yes, more and more and more - I see where my partner goes with her paintings sometimes; when I tell her "don't touch it; it's perfect" and she does, sometimes losing the thing I love; but it's her painting - and now I keep thinking of other possible stories and I also think it has to end somewhers -- maybe I do just need to plan a second book). I've been writing on the book a lot - be it a revision of a story or a new one I haven't writte before, or all of the massive editing.
Last night I typed up a story for the Lit Star Training workshop that is due tomorrow. I thought it would be around 2000 words. When I was ready to shut down the laptop and head home I was surprised to check the word count and it was 3850; and I wasn't done.
I printed what I had when I got home and took it with me today. When the client was busy doing something else for an extended time, I got out my notepad and the printout and - voila, I wrote more. And more and more. I finished the story (I think). What I had printed out was 11 pages at 1.5 spacing. What I wrote by hand was another 15 pages and I'm guessing will be another 5-7 pages when I type it up.
It just kept going and going - like the Energizer Bunny of writing. The words flowed and I was able to monitor the physical space.