Sometimes writing's hard. This week felt less like E.L. Doctorow's description of driving at night in the fog and more like a low-budget strip mining operation. While bulldozing my brain for ideas, some imaginary environmentalists and my Inner Critic chained themselves to the machinery in protest. A barefoot Julia Butterfly Hill was camped in the branches of my dendrites with Woody Harrelson and a bowl of raw muesli. They were all begging me to stop.
A quick trip to the fridge and a little internet TV did nothing to remedy the situation so I tried out Eric Maisel's advice from his book Deep Writing. I needed to Hush My Mind, Hold the Intention, and Write. First I wrote about why I couldn't write and why I should quit. I wrote about how I will never finish this book or even today's staggering eighteen page minimum. Then something amazing happened.
Writing about why I hated writing cheered me up! Complaining gave me a second wind and that same endorphin rush that got me into writing in the first place. Then I thought of Amy Poehler's inspiring words: "I have told people that writing . . . has been like brushing dirt away from a fossil. What a load of shit. It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver."
I remembered that maybe it was ok that writing feels both like a light guiding the way and like I'm knifing a Maytag. I wrote for a while thinking of my pals—Amy, Woody, Julia—and I felt less alone. Even if I can only see the road right in front of me, I can make the whole trip that way.
If you want to join me on the drive, why not check out a class? We may have to drive with our brights on or slow down through some curves at times, but we never have to drive alone.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!