Monday, October 10, 2011

Service Entrance

I'm going to try a new approach this time. I'm going to come back to writing through the back door. I've been running away from it for a while now, either because I've had too much to say, or not enough, I'm still not quite sure. What I am sure of is that I've been paralyzed and not writing and fretting about all of the not writing.

Lately I've been trying to sit down and just do writing practice. It doesn't matter what I write about. Sometimes I pull a prompt from one of my many writing books, sometimes I sit down with something of my own in mind. Either way, I meander all over the place, drop one thread, pick another one up, and I'm mostly up in the ether, rather than down on the earth, in the world. I'm having a hard time with concrete detail these days.

As I'm sitting down to do these short stints, I'm trying not to worry about what I'm writing so much as the fact that I'm doing it. Yes, I would love to be able to pull a line, a phrase, a page from a notebook and turn it into something worth showing someone else, but if I think too hard about doing that right now I'll end up paralyzing myself again and running away from the page, so right now I'm concentrating on the basics. I'm watching my hand move across the page and watching my brain as it navigates through the time I've set myself and the topic I've chosen.

Sometimes I feel an old spark and can see things taking off. Sometimes I even let them take off a bit, let myself keep going after the timer has shrieked at me and I've silenced it. Not too much yet, though, because I still worry about running out of steam, so usually I put the pen down and step away from what I was doing.

Down the road I'll go back through these pages and see what things look like when the ink has fully dried and I have some distance from the tentative explorations through the service entrance of my writer's life. Will I find artichoke hearts or pickled pigs' feet? Who knows, right now, stocking the shelves is the bit I need to concentrate on. Later I can figure out how to work with the ingredients I've amassed and figure out how to turn them all into a banquet (how's that for a mixed metaphor?).

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