In my writing class the other day, one of students told me he had a problem. “I actually have a terrific idea for a short story, but I just can’t get started. I can’t off the dime,” he said.
This is a common problem when you’ve stopped the writing process for some reason. “I can relate,” I said. “I haven’t written anything for six weeks.” Which was true. I’d been on a trip to New Zealand and Australia, an adventure trip—a trip of a lifetime. It had taken all my concentration and energy.
But I realized the cure was the same for almost everything, and I confided my secret to Martin. “We gotta bite the bullet,” I said. “And just do it.”
Did I follow my own advice? Not really. Other things came up…family things, health things, more travel things. And now two weeks have passed since I wrote the first two paragraphs above. Inertia became a Siren, calling me to the rocky shoals of apathy: “Come, you don’t need to write your blog. That’s just a goal someone imposed on you. It’s your Ego, trying to get you to perform. Life is about living. Let the writing go. Be “in joy”. Remember, you are a human being not a human doing.”
Ah, how seductive that voice is. And it has become educated in self-help lingo so that is sounds wise instead of lazy! But today I am in a place that soothes my spirit and quiets my sorrow. This allows me to tap into the creativity that has lain dormant for weeks. I have washed our clothes and the grapes, and unpacked the suitcases. I can rest easy for a while so words begin to form in my head as I walk along the shore. They flow in a lyrical stream that I know is inspired by the artistry of Jane Hamilton in her book The Dovekeepers.
I am grateful for all of this and the solitude. My only companions for the moment are the laptop, the roar of the surf, the twitter of songbirds, and the wind that has set the bushes to swaying like graceful hula dancers in a row.