Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It Doesn't Always Come On Little Cat Feet

This is the season of the WriMo.

That means when I'm not writing, I'm reading about writing, or thinking about writing or talking about writing-probably to myself. Sometimes I talk to others about writing. Sometimes I even talk about my writing.

Usually I just yell at people not to talk to me while I write.

A lot of the things written about getting through the WriMo and getting done and winning make sense and sound good. I read them and nod my head a lot. Sometimes I make lists and try the ideas.

Other times I think about writing like I do today.

Writing isn't about pacing. It isn't about taking little bites or getting started or staying motivated. It isn't about word counts or silencing your inner editor. Writing isn't about having the right kind of tea or pen or power snack. It's not about the time of day, your soundtrack or your work space.

For me, at least today and this last week or two, writing has been sheer brutality.

It is sitting in one spot and working until your shoulders ache and your back spasms out. It's about thinking so hard you forget to breathe and realize it only after your ribs begin to hurt. Writing is about headphones blaring so loud you can't hear anything but your own thoughts. Getting the story down comes at the cost of sleep. It's about bloodshot eyes that burn and can't focus on anything outside of the range of your laptop screen. Writing is about numb fingers when you go to bed and numb fingers when you wake up. It's the burning pain in your hands when you type.

I know I'm supposed to stop. I know the "right" way to write.

I also know that it feels better to let the story tell itself when it talks. It's better to work through the aches and fatigue and get the words out on the pages.

Sometimes it feels like a story that comes out neatly by outline and word goals, is one that is too  clean and easy.

Sometimes it feels like the better story or maybe just the one that needs to be told has to birthed out in a painful bloody mess. Sometimes stories come in a like a consuming fire. Maybe a good story is like a poltergeist that bends your body the wrong direction and makes your head spin.

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