*This is a free-write exercise. I was wrestling with all kinds of thoughts and ideas and was getting nowhere. So, I sat down and wrote whatever came. Being a free write, I am publishing it unedited (except for spelling).Thanks to my friend Deborah for the idea of stepping away and just…writing*
Words pound in heart and head, threatening to destroy you if not released, shared, shepherded from mind to hand to paper.
Characters beg to be introduced; stories told; lessons unpacked. And it’s like a free fall, this opening of heart and mind. Exhilarating, exciting, terrifying. You can think of little else until you at last, once again, are free to catapult into the stratosphere of creation. Words flow, ideas materialize and you’re left breathless, heart pounding with the beauty and grandeur of it all. Pictures so moving tears flow alongside the words; scenes so breathtaking the one writing them must stop for fear of suffocating in the sheer beauty of it.
Then, inevitably, there is that moment just after liftoff when the tether has yet to pull taut and you no longer see the beauty, the wonder, the magnitude. You see only the ravine floor rushing up faster and faster and you wonder why in the world you put yourself through this. And why you do it voluntarily again and again. You remind yourself that the last time was the same and you are still breathing but logic flies off in the wind along with your screams and you see only failure. Fear. Regret.
The successes of before now reek of mediocrity and are left in a pile like picked over bones because you comb over them again and again never quite able to get them just right.
Why waste my time? Do I write only for me? What if I pour my heart and soul onto this page and it turns out to be merely…okay? What yesterday burned like a beacon in the night, no more able to be held back from the page than the light from a candle on a stand in a darkened room, now seems small, insignificant. A mere shadow of the flame it had once been.
You close the book, unplug the computer. Enough raw bits of your soul etched for today.
It’s not worth it anymore. I don’t need to write. It’s just a hobby. No one cares what I have to say anyway. I’ll be happier when I just let it go and move on to more important endeavors.
And then the morning comes and stories beckon once more and the characters call and the lessons burn deep and the cries are deafening and you’ll explode if you don’t let them out.
So you take Hemingway’s advice and you sit down at your typewriter, or notepad, or computer…and bleed.