Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nirak/2854421030/sizes/m/

“Just write something and send it to me,” she said. “You have forty-five minutes.”

Right, I thought. Like I’m going to just sit down and begin writing and nearly an hour later have something worth reading.

Of course, the purpose here was not to produce something worth reading. It was to write something.

Writers write.

Non-writers think. And think some more. And plan. And plan some more. And imagine themselves busied by the task of editing their work.

Or they wait for the inspiration fairies flittering around inside their heads to dig deep into their velvet bag of word-seeds and sprinkle it all over their brains hoping that enough words will take root and grow into something worth reading. Non-writers hope that their tome is worth reading.

I wanted to be a writer. I was tired of being a non-writing writer.

So I thought I’d try her advice.

Just write something and send it to her forty-five minutes later.

So where were these words going to come from?

I’d been promising myself that I would get back to a writing discipline for (insert very long pause here), well actually for years. Writing an idea here. The beginning to a story there. A paragraph to the next great American novel penciled onto index cards and filing it somewhere I would probably fail to remember.

Yet never actually completing a project. Well, a few, but none worth really mentioning.

Forty-five minutes. Could I actually write that long and send her something she wouldn’t just laugh at? Or worse, shake her head and wonder aloud, “WTF?”

But writers write and let the reaction fall where it may without worry.

I am a writer. A good one I’ve been told. I have after all received awards for my writing and been published. So what was the hang-up?

It doesn’t matter. I’m a writer and she told me to just write something and send it to her.

But again, where would I find those words that would make the reader continue reading? Was there some well hidden deep within my marrow that would somehow whisper to the quick and end up tickling the fingers on my keyboard? I wiggled my fingers but I looked more idiotic than inspired.

I tried shaking my head hard and fast. But nothing. If there were any inspiration fairies they were probably out drinking coffee. Decaf, most likely. They undoubtedly don’t feel the need to stay awake or alert.

Next I tried shouting a stream of consciousness. But my ears wouldn’t have much of that. Something about stupid and a lost cause. I’m not really sure because I stopped listening after about five words into the cacophony.

I checked my recently acquired moleskine. A gift from my daughter. Some notes that now some rather un-noteworthy. And there was the thought about sometimes when I fart my butt smiles, but is that really worth forty-five minutes? Yeah, it is. But maybe next time.

But for now, I’ve managed to stay at the keyboard for forty-five minutes, writing.


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