Friday, July 25, 2008

The One that Got Away

Okay, class. In your seats. It's writing time. The topic is on the board. Quiet. And...write.

Let's assume the teacher adds a great deal more to set the stage for the writing period. The students are motivated and no one is upset about sticky apple juice residue on his desktop or a precious toy that disappeared from his desk during recess. Everybody writes, right?

We all know that is not reality. Sometimes the ideas don't come or the moment isn't right. Despite the best of intentions, a paper or laptop screen can stare blankly and taunt the writer. I had a staring contest with both yesterday. I lost. First it was the laptop. Blinky, my beloved cursor held steady at his perch in the top left corner. Nothing. Come on, Blinky, shake out that toe cramp and get moving. Still nothing. I left Blinky to work out his issues and surfed the Net. And surfed and surfed. Eventually, I realized my brain was waterlogged and my laptop would not be a creative tool for the day so I shut it down and pulled out the pencil and paper. I could not come up with even a doodle. AHHH!

Producing nothing when you really want to accomplish something is agonizing. I felt powerfully productive the previous day when I took the dogs to daycare. This was the time when I was supposed to build momentum. It didn't happen. Instead, I went out and dug holes in the yard. That felt good. You see, I have a lawn that refuses to respond to a mower. I can mow and mow and mow and these pesky blades of grass keep popping back up, not the least bit scarred. There are hundreds--er, thousands--of these rebel blades. Some are reaching knee height. I keep digging up patches, telling myself the entire lot will one day be a garden. For now, I have blank patches of dirt. They go nicely with my blank pad of paper.

Here's hoping I will have something to show for today. If not a chapter, then a new plot of perennials.

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