Friday, February 23, 2018

Returning to it

Writing is one of those professions which always demands your next trick and doesn’t look backwards.   Five hundred words a day; no skips. No excuses.  I’d done both. For the past few weeks I’d come to the lull in the day (usually at night) when there’s time I could spend writing, and hadn’t.  Dullness took over my writer’s heart and I let it.  

With that failure to practice, I’d lost a piece on the Eucharist and the real (perceived) vs. the actual (reality) which kicked around for a day teasing me.  I’d not put out words on how we need to really tackle the issue of access to fire arms as a nation and stop putting symbolism over substance in our policies and procedures, not because we can prevent every act of evil, but because we can help curb this sort of evil.    The temptation to act like a lesser creatures and not push to action, is a form of sloth.   We have to resist the temptation in the big and little to let life simply go on and not stop, reflect and respond. I knew this about the bigger world outside of my own, and the internal one.  Sloth allowed for greater creeping dullness, for less response to the whole world. 

Fortunately, I have lots of passionate people in my life, at work, on my facebook feed, and hearing and reading their responses to world events helped.  Their energy and interests helped me recognize an unhealthy detatchment and mourn all these lost stories.   As if to bring it home with a resounding "Hey Sherry, can't miss this!"  one student in a class asked me, "What's zeal mean?"  Answer, the opposite of what I'd shown.  

Sloth and Procrastination are a writer’s greatest threat.  I ran through the reasons in my head as to why I hadn’t but they were all excuses which weren’t the real reason.  Ten kids never stopped me before.  Sickness and stress didn’t stop me before. Time wasn’t always an ally either.  For the past few weeks, I’d felt drier, and ever duller. I even remarked to my husband, “I feel like salt which lost its flavor.” It felt like it wouldn’t come back.  Being in the writer world desert, I’d not dug deeper or pushed onward, I’d simply stopped and once I stopped, restarting became harder. I was ceasing to be a writer.  I’d become someone who had been for a time, if I let it continue. I didn't want to be a had been.

Lent is one of those seasons of the Church which helps me rediscover almost always the same lesson I’m refusing to learn.  I lack discipline in my will.  Fasting, in addition to allowing me the opportunity to make reparations for the damage I’ve done to the world by my own sin, fasting or rather, the discovery of how poor I am at fasting, teaches me all the ways in which I avoid noticing what I lack.   Opening the computer, I’d shut it back down again.  I'd tell myself good reasons. I’m tired.  I need rest.  Being a slave to appetite, to impulse and to time, I lost something precious. I tried to joke to myself I’m fasting from writing, but I wasn’t wanting to write and opting to surrender that desire, I was not writing and waiting for desire to take me back to it.  

Looking back at the words, I found a lot of “I’s.” in the work, hammering home where and with whom the problem lay.  I'm guessing my muse forgave me because I woke up and felt pushed until I started writing.  Pushed out of sleep, pushed out of bed, and pushed until the words came spilling out and it didn't matter what time it was, they had to be typed.   The love of words for words sake restarted.  I still needed to know why. 

Always writing to be published didn't allow for the sort of free association thinking involved in writing as play.  As writing became more work, the work of writing demanded more, and it meant I never just allowed writing to be only my thoughts, only chasing down every rabbit hole my brain opened.  I'd even been thinking about closing my blog because all the writing was "professional." 

 However, the playground of the blog allows for more randomness and is a means of maintaining the discipline of the 500 words.  It's the home for all the 500 words which don't have some other place they could go. 

And so, I begin again, so as to continue becoming.  

No comments:

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!