Thursday, January 14, 2016

Notes to Future Writing Self

Your book is a dinghy, with a few faded, striped cushions lying at angles in the middle of the boat, should you plan to row it out of its moorings.  It’s in need of a sanding and a fresh coat of paint.  

You have left it to the elements, lured to the coziness of the British Reading Room and the daily Chronicle and the lightweight fun of emails and Facebook and Huffington Post. Conversations with your daughter, errands for your son, passing snark with your brother—all these things keep you from rowing out to find fresh observations, fresh sentences. Endless distractions, reeds in the water, tangling the oars.

You need to put on something waterproof, probably a yellow shiny rainproof poncho, maybe a pair of boots if you can find them and just get into the boat.

Undo the rope.  Drift out.  

Think about that bulky bit towards the end of your story that seems to be just More of the Same; trim it, tighten it, DO something.  Every day, a little farther out and away from the house noises and the house obligations. 

The bills and dishes and appointments and endless lists of things to do. Away from the shore, into some quiet, into some thinking, no interruptions.Get away.  Get into the book again. 

Get in to it.    

You don’t need to go far. Just go often. Get away from your House Self. See something anew. See another angle. Do it by doing. Do it by not having that first cuppa and the quick glance at the emails and all that follows.  

Just row out there for that first fifteen minutes. And every day, row on out. You’ll like yourself better. You won’t feel quite as mousy as you have been feeling. 

Okay, Future Self?  Give it a try?  Huh?

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