Time for Work

Well, big changes over the last few weeks. Wrapping up the research, the defense, the Week of Loose Ends, and now my first week of clerkships. I've been impressed by the efficiency on the wards and in the OR; so many notes and forms and labs and charts... Everyone is constantly engaged, pretty much all the time, yet as the nurses and docs go about their routine they can break form long enough to teach me what they're up to, and why. Very different from my lab experience, where everyone ran their own solo show.

Will there be time for writing? Can't imagine free time should be spent any other way than studying right now, but I felt the same way back when I started full-time labwork three years ago.

Roger L. Simon quotes Lileks from the radio: "James described being amused by one of the comments in which someone ... wondered if Lileks would be able to speak as well as he wrote without the contemplative longueurs necessary for literary creation. James pointed out that professional writers didn’t have that kind of luxury—they have to make a living—and must spill out copy at the same speed as they talk anyway. (I identified with that one. Other than dead poets, who has time for writer’s block?)"

Holy crap, I say. If Lileks writes as fast as he talks, well, I'd be embarassed to have a conversation with him. After the organization and research, I spent hours polishing the flow and diction of my handful of pieces. Maybe Lileks or Quindlen or whoever can just bang out eloquence in one or two drafts because they've done this hundreds of times. Kind of like Drs. Spina and Staffier operating together almost telepathically -- they know how the story generally goes, after decades of doing this.

For me, for now -- in writing and in medicine -- I only have a fuzzy idea how to proceed, and all my work needs lots of revision.