Friday, October 4, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Write

This calling to lay down words is a holy wonder.

-Tonya Salomons, Stone to Heart


But the words won't come.  The deadline looms and the words aren't there.  The ones forced out just aren't right.  The silent buzzer sounds and I must surrender what I have.  Defeated. 

And then the words flood and gush and overwhelm.  Mostly still not right but at least there.  Present and accounted for.  And I can find strange comfort in the clacking of keys.  Something is better than nothing.  This is what I tell myself.

I've been writing -- crafting stories committed to paper -- for more than two decades now.  I only -- reluctantly, half-heartedly -- accepted the title of writer two years ago.  And it still feels like a ruse.  I still feel like a pretender.  Not really real.

And I wonder when I will ever feel powerful over the blankness.  When I will ever approach blank white in control.  Maybe not ever.  I will always be a servant to words, humbly arranging them and offering them timidly.  Breathlessly.

I write them.  Move them around.  Delete them.  Hurl them.  Fling them.  Caress them.  I hold them in and pull them out.  The words are good enough never.  Except for those few glimmering moments when they are.  When brilliance comes from heaven and I get to be a witness.

And so I write and wrestle and wait for brilliance to come.  Never knowing when it will arrive, never knowing when it will leave.

It's hell writing, but it's hell not writing. The only tolerable state is just having written.
-Robert Hass


Lisa Jo Baker invites bloggers to freewrite for five minutes each week on specific prompts. And then to share with the world what's on the page when the buzzer sounds. Learn more about this anxiety-inducing freewrite flashmob here.

My disclaimer: My five minutes is approximate.  And while I only write for those five(ish) minutes, I do an unaccounted-for number of minutes reflecting beforehand.  And very much against the rules, I edit after.  I always edit.