“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” – Erich Fromm
Exasperated I vigorously rub my forehead in consternation. Not again. Four visits from the cable company concerning my network connection, four different men – each performing some difficult task and assuring me this time it would work. Only to find once again I’m floating in nether space with no connection what-so-ever to the web. Pickles head perks up beneath my office chair and without warning she darts off after one of the cats.
My youngest cat, Feather, thought the cord to my USB key would make a wondrous new toy. Her thievery exposed by the click - click bounce of my USB toggle against wooden floor boards. Cord in mouth she runs pall mell toward the stairs with a dog in chase. It finally registers; my book is attached at the end of her new play toy. My work in progress is at the mercy of these two, who think a game is afoot when I join the chase. Within moments I’m back in front of my computer, the dog with a self satisfied smile getting a pat on the head. She knows she did well, in alerting me to something I couldn’t hear.
Lo and behold the connection is back. I’m online, a gift of time for however long the wireless gods deem me worthy.
My tenuous hold on this sporadic connection leaves me hesitant and wary of forging ahead on my writing for the day. I remember another moment, another day when my fingers poised over the keyboard, unsure – frightened in some small way of the direction my life would take. A year ago - truly? A year spent writing, creating, and plotting? A year in which I proclaimed myself a writer and set it down in stone on a blog for all to see and hold me accountable for…
Three books later, hours spent letting my fingers pour my minds musings out on the screen in front of me, and I swear it most certainly doesn’t feel like a year.
The question then begs of me, what would you tell your writer self of a year ago today?
I would tell her:
Go ahead and let your fingers sing across the keyboard. Stay curious and learn. Even if you don’t follow all the rules of your chosen profession, what you do learn and take to heart will be priceless.
You will have days of wanting to toss your laptop out the window, days of agonistic misery where you ponder why in the world you choose to do something that offers no instant gratification. Writing will test the very fiber of your patience.
You will also have days the words flow unbidden and you’ve lost hours at the drop of a hat. Lost minutes stolen by endless lines of prose and dialogue you won’t have with anyone even remotely human.
There will be moments you feel so utterly alone, followed by moments of clarity that you are never truly alone when faced with a head full of colorful characters taking up residence.
Most important –I now know no matter what unfolds from here on out, I can’t/you won’t imagine life any other way. From yesteryear to today, each day brings improvements, hopes, and the fulfillment of a dream. So go ahead let your fingers loose, let the words flow, for no other reason than you can’t imagine not. Jump off the ledge of your misgivings and learn to fly.
So with my faithful sidekick Pickles, a faulty internet connection, and a head full of characters – I bid Happy Anniversary to the first year of Shattered Prose. For better or worse this journey continues…
Picture from here