Pulling the ink out of the twigs


Scan0001Confession time. I have been a slack-ass these past few years and the proof is in the ‘submitting’ file drawer I ripped apart two days ago. Oh, heck, let’s be truthful and call it my ‘hide it and forget it’ drawer. It contained twenty-nine never-seen-an-editor pieces.

There it was—my fear of submission. Stacked in front of me. Funny thing is—I never thought rejection would stop me from writing because I was able to rationalize it so well. Now I see that rationalizing doesn’t always win in a battle against emotions. Emotions like to sneak in and around rational thought. They’re like the beavers building a dam. One little twig of doubt is stuffed in here; another one over there. Here and there, there and here, and before you know it the whole dam is complete and the flow is gone.

Honestly, if it wasn’t for the small writing group I’ve belonged to since I started writing I think I would have thrown in the towel a few times. They’re kind of like the little dingy that keeps banging against the dam, breaking twigs, keeping the trickle alive.

And pushing myself to write here each week has been a twig-plucker too.

About two months back I sat down and had a serious talk with myself (for sanity’s sake let’s call it meditation) and I realized I couldn’t keep not writing. To keep dragging my fingers (imagine the word butt there) was just stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid, and since I’m not stupid—slightly daft maybe, but not stupid—I made up my mind to follow the advice of all those prolific writers who lead the way;

Just write

Simple words. Strong words.

I shifted gears and have been getting up around somewhere between four and five a.m. each morning and firing up the computer, opening up to a book I’ve wanted to write for about 10 years and just writing. Before I let anything else into my world now I write. It’s a joy. The quietness. The emptiness of the world before dawn; before I become the wife, the daughter/mother, or even the Cathie, I’m just the open valve onto the page.

I’m not writing volumes. If I’m lucky I get 500-800 words down before my name is called. But the dam has been breached and it feels good to be moving along again.

As for my un-submitted pieces from the drawer? I made up a sign. It sits in front of the stack on my desk. It says,

Good Shit Man! Don’t Be Afraid.

And you know what. I don’t think I am anymore.

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