If you write, you’ll know what I mean.
If you write on a daily basis, its those first ten minutes during which your brain feels like no one has oiled the cogs for ten years, and your pen feels like the nib is dragging through molasses.
If you haven’t written for a while, it feels like performing an appendectomy on yourself.
Hemingway was not kidding when he said:
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Yesterday I sat down to write a new story.
I haven’t written in a while. I don’t really get on with doing writing exercises much, although I know I SHOULD. And at the moment I am experimenting with a new journalling practice called Deep Soul Writing, (of which more later) which is proving to be an interesting, but demanding, experience. So my creative writing has been rather rare.
Nevertheless, I still have stories rattling around in my brain. I always do. So last night I thought I would start writing one down. Free up some brain space. Like you do.
Cue: wading through concrete.
How did this get so hard?
I’ve written seven novels, and dozens of fanfics. How did I get this rusty this quick?
Nothing brings home the importance of daily practice, whether you are a pianist doing your scales, an artist doing your warm up sketches, or a writer doing – dare I say it – writing exercises, like coming back to your artform after a break and finding:
OH MY GODS THIS IS SO HARD!!!
My husband complains of feeling stiff and awkward if he misses even one of his twice-weekly body pump gym classes. And now I know how he feels, because man! am I stiff!
But, as the old adage says, the only way out is through.
So I will suspend judgement on what I am scrawling because I know that while it may be as fluid as a fence post, at least I am on my way. Sooner or later, things will loosen up, get more limber. The adjectives will start replacing the cliches. The dialogue will start to sound like it is coming out of real people’s mouths instead of cardboard cut-outs. The metaphors will start to gang up on me. The language will take on the richness of one of Queen Elizabeth I’s gowns.
Then, and only then, will I really get down to business.
But I have to write my way through the shit first.
So, like every marathon runner, I will set out in hope. I will do my stretches, and thud through the first few miles until the muscles have warmed up and the movement starts to flow again.
Because even when its like bleeding into the keyboard, my soul is dancing, and I know, really know, that this is what I was meant for.