11 October 2006

Working 9 to 5

Sometimes I get in the zone. I love being in the zone. Words pour out like the Thousand Island dressing from the bottle after it gathers momentum. I can’t keep up with the words.
This week, the door to the zone is blocked by bright yellow police “Caution: Do Not Cross” tape. And flanked by two officers with oozies. There ain’t no way no how gettin in. Which means that I have to work for each word. Say nice things, make promises I have no intention of keeping, and hold out candy in front of the doorway hoping a word will fall for it. Brick by brick, slopping on the mortar, lining it up, cleaning up the mess. Work.
I don’t like it. I want to play in the zone. I want to skip and do cartwheels (if I knew how to do cartwheels). Please, please, can I go back inside the zone? Mother may I?

13 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

Hey there... pssssst... over here... come in the back door. :)

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Hey, I can still do cartwheels. I teach you.

Seriously, 80% of my writing is like pulling it out of my gut one word at a time. The good news is, when I'm faithful to do that, it seems to come easier after awhile. And getting into that zone . . . well, that's what makes the gut-wrenching stuff worthwhile.

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Wish I could help.

I journal when I get stuck.

willowtree said...

I feel for you, it must be really tough for a writer like you to be stuck. I get stuck too, but you know me, I just stick in a picture or say something stupid. We all work to a different set of standards.

That wasn't a bad description for someone who is having difficuilty writing btw.

Heather said...

To be honest, today is much better. It's still work, but I'm more willing to go through the work. Thanks to a lot of encouragement from some great peeps!

Jennifer said...

The zone is great, but we can't live there, or we'd have nothing left to write about (too much writing, not enough thinking/living.

I love the zone. I'm glad that you are at least out of the war zone, even if you aren't back into the salad dressing zone.

Margo Carmichael said...

Hi, Heather, great zone this Saturday, same time, same place! Please email me. My Outlook ate past email. Thanks.

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey girl! I know what you mean. I read an article in Writer's Digest recently about switching from the left side of the brain to the right (the creative side). It gave some exercises, too. The idea was to identify the "feeling" when it happens, however fleeting. As an artist, I knew exactly what he was talking about, but never thought of applying that to writing. Pushing through is hard, but writing everyday really seems to make the difference. Even if it's crap. LOL!

Hey, email me (dineenmiller @ mac.com) about the genetic stuff. I'll share the itty bitty bits I know. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Aah writer's block.

Some of my favorite words:

"Inspiration comes because of discipline. And discipline comes when you organize your life in specific, intentional ways, and then sticking to it." --Rob Bell

"Inspiration comes during work, not before it." (work = writing) --Madaleine L'Engle

Victor said...

that wasn't supposed to be anonymous...i just couldn't get the word verification correct. sometimes those are hard!

Pamela said...

"officers with oozies".oh boy... now I have a great thought for a post.

Thanks!!!!

Jeanne Damoff said...

Work? Wait a minute . . . seems I have a memory, long ago, lost in a dizzy haze brought on by too many cartwheels . . .

I should go back to that place. I might get something done.

If it helps, I always think of that yellow police tape as a personal invitation. Just tell me I'm not allowed in, and, baby, I own that zone.

In conclusion (as though there were any evidence of continuity in this comment), "oozies" is a great word. I'm going to use it at least three times today in casual conversation, e.g., "Honey, did you see where I left my dictionary? Never mind. I found it in the refrigerator, behind the oozies."

Work. Mmmhmm.

Erin said...

Barbie, when she is playing the role of Rapunzel, uses an enchanted paintbrush to paint whatever scene she wants on the tower wall and in a glittery "swoosh" it appears before her -an open door to freedom.

I think I saw one listed on Ebay.