There are times when my head has more going on it than there is space to contain it. It feels as if one more independent thought will cause an explosion. Often this is when I haven’t been giving enough of my attention to writing time and it is letting me know that it is well passed its limit.
If I continue to ignore it, it empties itself – like the too full bucket that first spills over the edge and down the sides and then tips over losing all.
‘She doesn’t need me or respect me,’ the muse says right before she packs her bags and makes for the next train to a place where she is valued.
But the laundry, dinner, taxes, bills, car maintenance, mounds of filing, unanswered e-mails, and all of the ten thousand other things, demand attention as well.
What to do?
Thoreau said, “Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.”
Can the same be said for the importance of the chores?
Paying bills and doing taxes – yes. These must be attended to promptly. But most of us have more clothing than we ever wear – we just like the same five outfits. And I’m learning that a meal I’ve spent thirty minutes making, is eaten as quickly as the one I’ve spent two hours on. Take-out breaks the monotony and eases the cleanup process. As long as we don’t have a steady diet of it, we actually look forward to it.
I had a list in my head of all of the things I wanted to accomplish today. But with nobody home except me, it was the perfect allotment of steady quiet needed to release the flood of ideas and thoughts, two essays, and a back burner churning the possible lackluster scene in a novel I’m editing into a more exciting plot twist. It was just bubbling underneath the surface – behind the two stories I needed to purge onto paper in order to release it. And suddenly, there it was, the answer I had been seeking, the new direction.
I guess Thoreau knew a thing or two about writing.
Time slips away when I’m in this zone. It was early morning. I was writing while enjoying my coffee. And suddenly it’s past noon. How did that happen?
Procrastination dulls the senses, cools the passion, and dilutes the strength of the prose. Writers must not procrastinate.
What I’ve written this morning is good. I will probably have more time in the long term to do the things on the list because I won’t have to do as much editing. Born of heat the words are powerful.
So what if the flower beds aren’t trimmed, the dog’s bedding isn’t laundered, and the floors aren’t vacuumed. I can always do those things when my muse is asleep.
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