Today marks day 7 of writing in a row! Imagine me doing the happy dance–now stop. That was embarrassing. Anyway I have been writing to a prompt everyday. They are all simple prompts, meant to just get the juices flowing, things like: write about time passing, write about a conversation, write about a new moon. So far, my responses have bordered on journal entries, but I am slowly letting myself relax and walk away from censored writing and into more free-flowing ideas.
I have learned that the difference between being stuck and being on a roll is one sentence. It could even be one word that prompts the flow of ideas, leaving writer’s block far behind. The whole point is patience, giving my brain time. Giving myself a safe place to write, where no one can see how bad things get if and when they get bad. I had toyed with the idea of putting up my responses to the prompts on this blog, but having spent the past week at this there is no way in hell all of that is going up for all to see.
A concert violinist doesn’t hold concerts or release a CD of their practice sessions.
But even in just one week things have gotten better. Writing for practice is becoming more like a habit, and I find myself less hesitant to approach prompts I think are stupid. Instead of putting them off or skipping them, I write them anyway because it is good for me. Just like vegetables. I am also slowly beginning to rearrange my daily routine to allow for more writing. Today I cleared my schedule, giving myself the whole day to sit and write. I started off with the handwritten prompt writing, now I am blogging, and then I am going to go some reading and then move onto my novel. I set up a desk in my backyard.
The dogs and I are loving it. Panda has found her favorite place to lie in the dirt. Her head is between her paws and her hind legs are stretched out behind her. She looks like superman would look if he ever slept-flew. Bobo is eating dirt. He pauses every now and then, looking at me with pits of bark dust dangling from his chin to see if I am going to do anything about it. It is not worth intervening. If he doesn’t get his dirt in outside, he will just eat the dirt out of my houseplants.
I had thought it was silly to feel so good about how sitting out here, surrounded by my dogs and my favorite table covered in papers, journals, and books. But then I realized that this is what it feels like to love my job. My mind is slowly picking up the tools I had back when I was writing daily, for several hours back in college. The tools are really like questions that I keep at the forefront of my mind: is this the best way I can describe this? is this the best word? Are these words working for me? are the pulling their own weight? Why did I reject that idea? Am I being an editor when I shouldn’t be? Am I stifling myself? What needs to change?
Panda is now lying on her side in the sand. I have no idea why she likes sand so much, considering she is such a finicky dog. She doesn’t really like being outside unless one of her humans is out there with her. Bobo has decided to use some of my flowering ground covers as a mattress. I hope his butt is well cushioned, because those flowers are now flattened beyond recognition. And I am trying to figure out how to end this blog post gracefully.