What is it about the discipline of writing that keeps me enthralled day after day?
There aren’t any quick perks to the grueling work of coming up with a storyline people will find compelling. Though I love how words can come together to create astounding sentences, the occasions this happen with ease is scant at best. Habitually, most words are extracted out of me as if my appendix is being yanked out with force from my lower right side. No anesthesia, of course.
I sit here with the stories whirling around in my head and my hand on the keyboard, in anticipation of expression coming forth to weave out a tale worth the read. Somewhere between the brain and the fingers it gets stuck. I catch myself gazing out the skinny window next to my desk. I’m not perceiving anything in particular out there on the street. My mind is prying into its vaults for the utterances that will bring the tale to life.
Each hour marches by with a softened thud, giving me acute awareness of how much I have yet to accomplish. The turmoil is all within me, mind you. No one is imposing a deadline or word count. No one is pointedly asking how much I have done or when I’ll be finished. This is a vow sewn neatly to my heart by my own accord.
I’ve pondered on what I’d do with my hours each day if I chose not to write. The window sills need to be cleaned. The drawers in the chests that sit in the closet need to be decluttered. I haven’t done any baking since the winter holidays. Yes, there’s plenty I could do other than write–at least for a while. Yet, here I sit pounding on these keys.
Am I possessed? Uhmm… Could this be? While transferring the laundry from the washer to the dryer, I mull this over. Could there be a possibility that I’m driven by an outside force to while away my time writing? I’ve heard it said that these Tennessee hills are filled with paranormal activity. Supposedly there’s banshees, witches, and specters roaming these mountain. Although I do, most hardily, believe in ghosts, I can’t say I subscribe to the notion of being bewitched. The haunts do their thing and I do mine. If we happen to meet somewhere along the way, all is amicable.
Am I OCD? Well… this could be. I’ll eat something time after time until I’m not interested in it anymore. Only then will I change to something else for nourishment. For instance, I’ve been eating Cheerios for breakfast for over four years now. I don’t waver from this. Eventually I know I’ll get bored with the little circles and grab a box of some other cereal from the store shelf and eat that daily until I’m bored with it too.Will I get bored with writing? I guess I could eventually, but I can’t conceive it being permanent.
Some may say I have a dream I long to make reality. I’ve been told that I have this ability to write what others want to read. I see glimpses of this talent, but overall, I’m probably lacking the sheen needed to make that big splash within the field. I’m appreciative of the fact that there are few who reach that greatness; and I accept that I won’t be one of them. Still, it would be sensational to have just that one moment of recognition.
The regimen of facing each day with the full resolution of pounding words out on the keyboard hits me as being virtuous and dignified. Although I may not be accomplishing as I’d like, I don’t feel my efforts are futile either. Wishful thinking? Possibly. Maybe even probable.
I carry on in defiance.
Who or what are your writing adversaries?
“Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.” ~Don DeLillo