Six weeks in, you know, it’s still hard to write when I sit down to do so. And yes, believe me, you are not the only one who hates to write.
“Nailing down the bitch mistress known as the muse is always an interesting writing experience.” – @HexingThoughts
I mean, I love it. I do, really. The fact that I can pick up that pencil or this pen or – oh, the luxury – that paintbrush and use the 26 years of muscle memory my hands have acquired to flick the instrument this way and swoosh it that way – and out come words. Real appreciable words that say what I have decided they will say.
The power trip that gives is not unlike cocaine, when I manage to produce something I really love. The taste might not be altogether sweet, but fuck, if I’m not the smartest, prettiest, sexiest thing out there for at least a few delicious moments.
So yes, of course, it does feel amazing to write, to self-identify, to put pen to paper, to waggle your digits above the keys and tickle out something grand.
But we all know everything we write is not so splendid. You’ve got to produce enough sludge to whittle it down into beauty – or at least into “good enough.”
There is a plethora of turns of phrase to explain it, from finding the diamond in the rough to the ugliest of oysters producing the shiniest of pearls.
God, those clichés get old. Except, of course, when I use them. And then they are pithy and quaint. Right? Right.
But sometimes that’s the only thing I can see, the well-worn idiom sparkling above me, taunting me with its classic agelessness. Why haven’t I written a saying so grand and timeless?
At which point, thank whomever, my ego checks its coat at the door and settles in for the evening.
And so I sit here at my desk, letting the front edge push into my right knee, reddening in that familiar way it does. My forearms rest against the front edge, hovering over the keyboard, while the grain of the wood presses against that soft, vulnerable spot just below my elbow.
I sip the lemoniest of waters, hunch forward in a way I know will ache tomorrow and roll my eyes over the ever-overfilled inbox, the piles of unkempt papers, the bird stamp my heart has clasped as its own, the empty prescription bottles, the wrinkled desk calendar, the paint bucket full of pens and pencils.
At which point, I begin to beg for ideas. I start in my head, asking memories or god or whomever. I ask the dogs, in a way that scares me only now as I write it for others to see. I ask my wonderful team of keepers, those I retain with sweet and savory morsels, who try to keep me from falling down my stairs and on track to post each night.
And I beg and I plead – I’m very good at both – and then @fetfet50 takes pity on me and says the magic word: “meta.”