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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When Nothing Comes, Something has to Go

The brass clock clicks on noon as I lean my head on the wooden shelf of my cubby and wait for the words to come. Inhale. The edge of the panel digs into my temple. No topic today, though there’s is a whirlpool inside--ideas relating to two small projects I am in the middle of. I’m on hold with both and finding it difficult to force my focus elsewhere.

I could, I suppose, wander down the carpeted steps to the basement and the laundry that I put in while my daughter was in the shower this morning. I forget. I always do. By the time I remember, its 6:10 a.m., I’ve got no clean socks, and it will go another day if I don’t gather it up. Right. Now. At least I turned the water to “cold wash” so the resulting trickle in the shower was lukewarm. Sorry to say, the words I received upon our daughter’s exodus were not.

Our basement however, is the cat’s domain. She crawls on top of the vinyl boat cushions my husband stores in the rafters and sleeps until mid-afternoon. If I wake her, I’m in for it. She’ll stand by me at my writing chair, winding herself in and out through my legs, yowling. If I try to pick her up, she’ll run away. She might let me pet her, but that inhibits the typing and though she purrs while I stroke her, one second too long and she nips my legs. The laundry will have to wait my friends. In the drier. Tomorrow. 6:10 a.m.

Earlier, I was able to pull my thoughts from the freelance work long enough for a final review on a essay for an on line contest—I adapted a blog post from a few months ago and have spent weeks polishing it up. Today I dared to press send. I don’t expect to win, but am patting myself on the back. In truth, I could wait another six weeks and still find changes to the piece, because writing is never done. But at some point, you have to have faith that your baby can manage away from you, even though you’ll bite your nails with worry and pray it puts on a good showing.

Writing, in so many ways, is about letting go. You have to trust that you’ve nurtured and cherished the piece long enough to let it out to the real world—that along the way, it has absorbed the best lessons you’ve learned—which is something I can’t give myself credit for with today’s Middle Passages post.

Do you post on your blog when you are clearly stumped?


jbchicoine said...

When I’m stumped, or wresting with the 'Have I nurtured and cherished the piece long enough to let it out to the real world’ issue, I post something on my other blog, where words aren’t particularly the focus.

glnroz said...

Heck Fire,, you have seen that for yourself, lol, but I would rather not. Even when I am NOT stumped, mine can be painful reading.. lol

Sharon said...

Unfortunately, I do... More like "tweets". Please, forgive me.

Simon C. Larter said...

Often when sending my work out I find I'm like a parent who's sending a problem child off to college: tired and relieved. By the time I've edited and revised it to death, I'm sick of it, and just want to get it out on submission so I can see what'll become of it. Familiarity breeding contempt and all that.

But no, I don't post when I'm stumped, though perhaps I should. It might break me out of whatever rut I'm in at the time.

Tamika: said...

I do Liza. Writing bad forces me to find the writing that shines, getting past the yuck. My readers are so gracious to come back. Thanks guys!

Diana Paz said...

Yes, I do! Writing when I'm stumped is my favorite remedy :)

arlee bird said...

Yes, I force myself to come up with something--at least so far. Some things I suppose have not been that good, but I trying to write as though I paid to meet a deadline to produce.