Monday, April 2, 2012

When World Life & Writing Life Collide

Our house went on the market today. Not the one we live in now. That would be too close at hand manageable. The house on sale is clear across the continent. Out of my sight. Beyond my reach. Way past my control.

This is crazy making to the max for me. There is no way I can escape being distracted – also to the max. Yet I am a writer with expectations to fulfill. What am I to do?

The most obvious choice would be to blow the writing off hard enough to push it as far away as my property with the For Sale sign in the yard.

“Life has intruded,” I could exclaim. “Life is bulldozing me under mounds of anxiety at the moment.”

Everyone would understand and empathize with that – especially my writing colleagues. But abandonment would not be the right choice for me – not even the choice that would make me less anxious at this or any anxious time. There are other alternatives for my writerly soul.

I could remind myself that struggle is always a source of great writing material. Accordingly I would write down everything I am feeling as my circumstances play mash-up with my mind and metabolism and I struggle to prevail.

I would not journal the experience – not enough story juice that way. I would dramatize the scene in all its vividness and every sensual detail.

The scent of the air wafting through the window as I hyperventilate. The color I see through my eyelids as I squeeze them shut. The sound of the world as it has the nerve to spin obliviously on. And always the taste of fear – for once not described as metallic.

For dialog I would record the conversations with myself – with my demons – with my wishes – with my higher power.

Today I chose a less colorful alternative. I worked on something that required little original thinking or the stamina originality demands. Most of the original thinking had already been done. I revised something in need of revision.

Each avenue leads in the same direction. Through the predicament – into the writing – out the other side with something accomplished along the way. World and writing collide and fuse and release energy in the form of productivity.

Now if somebody would only buy my house.


suzanna leigh said...

Ive been thinking about you lately, cherishing the wisdom you shared with us when you were on Vashon. And when I see good writing, I think, Ah! there are some juicy details like Alice always told us to include.

Alice Orr said...

Dear Suzanna... I cherish those Write for Life sessions also.. especially the wonderful writing you all did... So many of you arrived in the beginning telling me that you really were not writers.. Then you went on to prove yourselves absolutely wrong about that... What a gift your work was to each other and to me.. I hold it close in my heart and always will... Thank you.