Trudge, trudge, trudge.
Such is the dreary walk of a writer’s fingers, typing out the first few sentences after having spent several days doing everything but write.
This trudge can feel like walking with thick mud caked to the bottom of your boots. You try running, but it’s like a toddler stumbling along, nearly falling over with each step.
It’s better to take consistent, slow movements in the right direction. The mud will eventually fall off, clump by clump, and you will find yourself journeying along the writer’s path like you’re walking just down the drive to visit an old friend. The road is clear, your feet are light, and writing feels less like a chore and more like a creative endeavor. It excites and intrigues, instead of boring you with a sense of obligation.
Creativity does not like to be ignored, but it especially doesn’t like to be made the enemy. Sometimes I treat it like a teacher who hands out too much homework. When instead I should be handling it with a lot of care and, at times, complete devotion.
For too long I’ve placed my creativity in a little drawer, saving it for later – whenever that illusive “later” might be. I haven’t made time for it, I’ve let the time present itself instead. And it just isn’t right or fair for me to expect Creativity to wait in the drawer until I bring it back out. It should be allowed to roam through the house, sit on the windowsill if it so desires, or maybe even venture outside if I’m neglecting its needs for too long.
Who am I to try and tame Creativity like it’s my pet? It should only ever be a friend, a companion. We share a mutual trust and respect, and if I don’t invest in the relationship, I can’t expect Creativity to invest in me either.
It’s time for me to open the drawer and let Creativity be free. After so many years of setting my writing aside (even amidst trying to write my next novel), I know that it’s time to sit down and get serious. To freaking stop procrastinating and running away from writing like it has cooties. I need to prove that I’m done fooling around, and I’m ready to commit to Creativity, to my writing, with all that I’ve got.
Only then will the trudge of typing become easier. The thick coat of mud on my fingers will be wiped clean and replaced with wings. Only then will the chains of fear no longer weigh me down, because I will have embraced a creative life full of love – a life where I can commune with the creative muse and form a partnership of trust. Then, and only then, will I write a novel that is true to both sides of the partnership.
And once that story has been told, I will open the window and let it burst free, no longer belonging to me and my personal opinions, but belonging to whatever reader happens to pick it up to read. It will be their story, their book, to think what they will about it. And I will be on to the next story, because there’s always another one that is waiting to be told. Such is my life as a writer.
Without further ramblings, here is my letter to Creativity:
I promise to be more respectful and thoughtful of you from now on. To not procrastinate or suppress my desire to create, but to follow it and let it guide me to what’s good. Instead of trying to manipulate and control you so that you fit into my schedule, I promise to open up my life in order to accept your gifts whenever you decide to stop by for a spell. I understand that (especially in these beginning stages of my writer’s journey) I will experience some empty space when I thought that inspiration would just come. I might have to trudge along until I find the right words to say. But with more attention, I hope that you will learn to trust me as I become a more reliable partner, and that you will make time for me the more I make time for you.
Ready to write your own letter? Who knows, it could be the exact thing you and your creativity need in order to improve your relationship on this journey together. I dare you to give it a try! 🙂