I’m taking a little lesson here and carrying it forward in my own efforts. The lesson as most recently expounded comes from my new/old friend Misty Dahl, over at A Lovely Little Writer’s Notebook, here at WordPress.
Besides the succinct, “show up at the page,” she also said,
What I’ve learned over the last few years is that writing isn’t about making something up, it’s about getting something down. It’s about turning off the thinker, letting go of the result and just punching the keys. If we get our brain out of the way and engage in the process of writing, the words will come.
One must make a regular habit of writing and committing to it regularly. The writer must do this even if he/she feels blocked or “stunted” and has nothing to say no matter how frustrated to “speak” they are.
She also says some stuff about “an invitation to listen” but that sounds a little “New Age-y” to an Old Fart like me, but I get what she means, I think. 🙂
Misty, Dahling, forgive me if I have misquoted or misrepresented what you said and please don’t hesitate to correct me. But, Faithful Reader, this is what I took from the read.
Actually, this is a lesson I learned long ago, but she reinforced it and said it most recently when it was in need (for me) of being heard repeated. I have been writing for 40 years now, and picked up this truism intuitively about 10 years later (30 years ago), but I didn’t intuit or apply the true depth of the lesson until about 15 years ago and until about 9 years ago I followed it lazily. Then about 9 years I began writing in deadly and feverish earnest.
So, yes it is true, I am old but didn’t start applying the wisdom of writing until I was far in the game and long in the tooth.
Then beginning in 2003, I journaled, started 3 novels, and created three blogs (including this one). I filled a couple thousand hand lettered pages and written hundreds of thousands of words in the novels and blogs. Commenting on a large variety of aspects in human existence, my life, and what I hope passes for just a little bit of wisdom and feeling.
My life was preparing for and took a very dramatic turn during this period which I held to be extremely positive. I was inspired if not from the start then most certainly as time progressed into the latter part of the last decade. Then just as fast as Hamilton’s excuse for shuffling around in a Mortal Coil had taken a 180 degree turn, it took another turn that was extremely weird even if it was not a reversion to its direction. For the sake of argument, let’s call it a 120 degree turn and a slide into the Fourth Dimension.
I wont go into that now. It’s been done for a large part elsewhere.
Anyway . . . last Spring, when I felt the most depressed and that I soon would very likely end my own life, I filed all those wonderful books and thousands of journal pages therein away in a safe place for generations to come — a Local Landfill.
Misty was around for that event. Remember, Dahling? 😉 I have been called a tad Dramatic from time to time, but I was deadly serious . . . I digress . . .
At and around that time my personal life was unraveling in a major way and I lost connection with all my writing. I threw out my journals and besides coming in Closing Remarks and moaning about how shitty everything was and trying to put an autobiographical short piece together for here (read the unfinished attempt in Losing Faith) I pretty much was closing not only a chapter but the whole freaking book of my life.
Then things got better.
Then they got worse again but with shade of the better mutating the whole lousy mixture into a really weird not to mention awful and not particularly tasty stew. I started writing Alise.
I no longer am thinking about pulling the plug on myself anymore. Life seems to be handling that score for me and in a Stephen King kinda way — full of Mystery, Suspense, and Horror. At least there’s no evil clown. Dig, Daddy-O?
But I AM WRITING AGAIN! Which is the whole damn point of this post anyway, right? Right!
Even though I am confronted by multiple personal tragedies from every side, I still have time on my hands. I am homeless, penniless, constantly hungry, diabetic, heart diseased, emphysematic, crippled, lonely and depressed, BUT I STILL have this demon gnawing at my guts telling me to
WRITE! WRITE! WRITE
And so I am writing. Even if my bowels are roaring, my chest is on fire or I can barely walk, I drag myself to the only place where I can find a flat surface on which to rest my writing tablet (the public library) and write. That is, incidentally, also the place where I find computer access to do my blog thing as well.
If I don’t finish Alise, oh well . . .. It won’t be the first, but I am going to keep working on it. It’s a story in me that wants out.
If I never get published, oh well. That wasn’t the point in the first fucking place, ya know?
I just want to write. and I will keep “showing up at the page” to do so as long as I am able.