They say the routine is important… and I’ve got one of those. A snuggly throw over my legs, a cup of coffee at my side, and the predawn pads of fingertips on keyboard.
I show up. Every weekend, I show up. (Maybe that’s the problem. Two out of seven is just not enough…)
Because I struggle. The words fail me. Or I fail them. I think it’s probably the latter.
I read last night an afterword from an author talking about how she had this story to tell and found herself trapped. Snagged in a tangle. Me too, mama.
Character failures. Overdrawn dialogue. Dead sentences. Like I’m wading through hardening concrete. It feels almost impossible, and I’m barely slogging through.Am I making progress at all? I honestly don’t know.
I’ve been working at it for years. Years. I’ve been writing my mind and my matters for years.
It is my innermost driving force. It is who I am. A writer. A puller of words out of the ether and onto the … what? Screen? Isn’t that still the ether? Am I even really a writer if there’s no heft in the hand to say that I am?
My boys see the books in my library. My office full of published works by other writers. They ask which are mine. Which did I write?
Bless them. They have such faith in me. They see me as a writer. But can you be something without the something that makes you that thing?
Can you really be a writer without the book?
I mean, if you’re a chef, you’d better have food to back it up, right?
What about a retailer if there’s no product to sell?
If you’re a ditch-digger, there’d best be a ditch in your wake.
Still, I keep going. I keep doing. I pull my computer up to my lap before anybody else is awake, and I pad out my ponderings and my plotlines and I persevere. I invoke the muse – like I literally practice the invocation of the muse (if it was good enough for Homer, maybe it will be good enough for me), and I fumble along in the darkness before dawn.
Digging the ditch, making the meal, so I can sell the wares. The words And maybe they’ll come. If you build it they will come. That’s the saying, right?