I am floundering. For the last few days I have been writing — in longhand — five new pages each day. I have had a lot going on this week, including an overnight visit to see Mom, in Chehalis. But I did my five pages, no matter what. Today was day four. I managed, but barely, filling in the gaps with questions.
- What purpose does this scene serve?
- What does Peter look like?
- Is there just a house on this old property? Shouldn’t there be ruined outbuildings, a broken fence?
- Did they have a well?
This morning I have taken numerous breaks. I had breakfast. I brushed my teeth. I changed my clothes. Bruce has been out here three times. Pearl just dropped in to ask if her outfit looked stupid. (It didn’t.)
I thought about posting a big sign on the door: WRITER AT WORK. STAY OUT. YES! THIS MEANS YOU!
But what did they interrupt? Me, checking my email? (Again.) Me, playing yet another game of Spider Solitaire. Me, visiting other blogs and hoping for inspiration.
I’ve been waiting for inspiration to strike.
I remembered, eventually, something I once read about learning how to start. If you’ve ever meditated, then you know this. If your thoughts wander, it is counterproductive to berate yourself, or your wandery brain. Just gently nudge yourself back to the meditation. Return again and again, as often as necessary.
True with writing, too. Learn how to fall into your work easily, effortlessly. Do this 20 times each morning, or 50, however many times it’s necessary.
I looked up the etymology of work for you. This was my favorite, because it includes the word “fornication.”
work (n.) Old English weorc, worc “something done, deed, action, proceeding, business, military fortification,” from Proto-Germanic *werkan (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch werk, Old Norse verk, Middle Dutch warc, Old High German werah, German Werk, Gothic gawaurki), from PIE root *werg- “to work” (see urge (v.)). In Old English, the noun also had the sense of “fornication.”
And now I think I am going to go in the house and do some laundry.