Monday, December 21, 2009

Mornings ...

This is what I do now.

Once I've completed my seasonal first-upon-waking routine (turn on the tree, turn up the thermostat, boot up the computer, open the curtains, plug in the other tree, put on the coffee, log into e-mail), once the coffee machine makes its gurgly sighs, I pour a cup, grab my afghan off the couch in the TV room, fold it in quarters to make a tidy lap blanket, grab my laptop, and set up on the loveseat in the living room, laptop and afghan on my lap, coffee on the coffee table (which is not a coffee table, per se, but rather an old steamer trunk) and I write, here.

Which is good, as I haven't been much of a blogger of late. I used to publish daily. Sometimes several times a day. Sometimes, I even wrote posts worth reading.

This is not one of them. But it's good just to get some words down on paper. Or 1s and 0s down on a screen, as the case may be.

This summer, my friend Steve challenged me to write 10 pages a day. Just 10 pages. Of whatever I felt like writing. But I had to do it every day. And I did. For a while. I wrote a lot of crap. But I tried to think of it not so much as writing crap as excavating my way to the writing that would be worthwhile.

I figured that I had piled up a whole lot of expectation over the years, and I had to dig down deep, through all of the word rubble, to get to the ones that mattered.

Of course, every word matters, in some way. There are no good words or bad words. I just have yet to strike upon the right combination of words, the right theme.

And there were a few nuggets in those challenge pages, seeds, if you will, that could conceivably grow into stories worth telling. But my brain has never done well with subtlety. Ideas come to me in flashes. And then I can do nothing else.

When the idea for my birthday party invitation struck earlier this year, I stopped what I was doing and worked on that for a few hours, writing and editing and printing and proofing. (Lest anyone think that there's not much writing and editing and printing and proofing involved in the text of an invitation, I'll point out that I wrote my invite as a news story and formatted it to look like it came from my clip file.)

Which is how it is for many writers, or so I've heard. That they feel an idea coming at them and they do whatever they can to capture it and get it down on paper.

For writers, this writer, anyway, life is a Quidditch match and the idea is the Golden Snitch. It is small and elusive and flits about. And I zip around after it – though "zip" may be overstating things a tad; I do not consider myself a zipper – all the while dodging the bludgers of writers block and idea dead-ends.

I did not intend to make a J.K. Rowling reference today, but there it is, and it fits rather nicely as a writing analogy.

Last night, my friend Martha, who is an amazing artist – damn, I have talented friends! – wrote "... sometimes we need fallow periods to have the juices flow at the right time."

Indeed. Some days are more creative than others. Some days are more prolific than others. And some days are just days.

But I like my new morning routine, sitting down with coffee in the glow of the tree and clacking away on my keyboard.

Perhaps I should leave my tree up year-'round.

If you stop by in July and my tree is still sitting in the living room, you'll know why.


Blogger Doreen said...

Will there be multi colored peeps hanging fronm the tree for Easter? American Flags and red/white/blue ribbons for Memorial Day & 4th of July??

8:42 AM  
Blogger Doreen said...

Oh ... Hearts for Valentines Day : )

8:43 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Nope, I'd just leave it all Christmassy. It would remain a Christmas tree, not a holiday-of-the-moment tree. Christmas in July, baby!

10:26 AM  

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