Tuesday, June 7, 2011

on writing

I went to the library. I resisted. I stared at the screen, the document, out the window and at the critiqued copies.

I wandered the library stacks looking for the the next Charlaine Harris book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. It wasn't there. I looked at bindings. I couldn't remember who else I wanted to read. Nothing else appealed.

I opened facebook. I kvetched. I closed facebook.

I picked up one of the critiqued copies and started reading the chapter I needed to work on. I wrote in what needed to be added, in the margin. I stared at the screen, knowing I needed to start typing. I looked out the window. It is a stunningly gorgeous day. I thought I'd rather be weeding my garden.

My phone buzzed. It was a call from my father. My father rarely calls. Does he want to ask about my garden? Does he want to talk about his? Did something terrible happen to Mom? To one of my brothers, anyone in their families?

I took the phone out front and called him back. Mostly he wanted to talk about gardening, but he also wondered if he left a hat here when he last visited. He found it in the garage before I called him back. He laughed at himself. We talked about growing beans, and his single radish that came up.

I returned to my seat. I started to type. I texted two different friends to see if they wanted to meet for coffee. I typed a little more while they both teased me via text.

I typed some more, then noticed the time. I needed to make a run to a store across town before I came home in time for the boys to arrive home from school. One of the friends said she had something for me. I stopped at her place. We chatted, major girl talk. She gave me purple Thai basil to grow in my garden, because she realized she wasn't going to eat it no matter how pretty it looks in the sunshine.

I came home. I think I forgot to disconnect the USB before I turned off the laptop. but I saved my changes, minimal as they were on the desktop.

I know this doesn't sound like I did much writing or editing, but I did. I changed the way I thought about the chapter, and I only need to type about half of it, hopefully tomorrow.  I have edits in margins I can type in, and I gave my brain room to roam as I wandered the labyrinth of library and mind. And that my friends, is how I write.

What did you do today?


  1. Sounds like me! A few words amid lots of meanderings!

  2. oh good! I figured I wasn't alone. I never did get John Updike's words that he felt he couldn't call himself a writer if he hadn't written at least 6,000 words a day, or some ridiculous number.

  3. Every day, every word, every success, every failure, every hero, every villain, every attempt, every step forward, every desire.
    Every day.
    And what about tomorrow?

  4. finished that chapter today...tomorrow is garden. much needed.


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