It’s 5:00 right here, and I’m awake at this awful hour…
writing. I have come to the
realization that in order to be serious about this thing, I need to get my butt
out of bed and get to it.
Otherwise, the day has slipped away, and before I know it, I’m slumped
into a heap on the couch, magazine in one hand and glass of wine in the other,
and I don’t want to do a single thing that might require thought of any
Some people work during the day while their kids play
happily and quietly at their feet with a nice, and eco-friendly, educational
toy while the birds sing sweetly outside the window and a cat lolls lazily
across the top of the desk.
Sunlight streams through the window onto the keyboard, which is
completely free of dust, and they turn out beautiful prose with the ease of
someone jotting down a grocery list; the words flow from their hands as if
directed by God. They also always
do their laundry, dry it and fold it and put it away in a timely manner. I don’t know these people.
I can barely get the kids dressed and out the door with
everyone’s lunch boxes in tow before tearing across the county and staggering
into my class, always two minutes late, with a pile of disheveled papers and a
mostly empty coffee cup in my hand. And no matter what I do, there is always
laundry. I think it breeds while
I’m in car line.
So I’m up. For
a whole two days I have gotten up at 5:00 a.m. to take, as Dana, my writing
instructor last week, put it, “an attitude of writing.” And so far, I’ve actually completed an
essay and begun work on something else.
Now the fun part begins.
Submission. It’s called
this because you submit your head to the chopping block and wait for the axe to
fall every time you send your work to some overwhelmed editor who’s already
swimming in piles of envelopes bearing mediocre stories and overly lyrical
poetry. I guess you just have to
hope that, for whatever reason, you are spared the executioner’s blade.
Meanwhile, the thing to remember is this—to be a writer, you
must be as one who will not die.
Every time your severed head hits the wooden planks below, you must pull
yourself up, take your head with you and venture back to the computer or
notebook for another go-round. I
guess it may help not to become too attached to your own head.