At some point, I have to recognize that it is simply resistance. Why am I resisting? Why am I trying to tidy up the corners instead of sitting in front of my book?
I know I’ve recognized the feeling of resistance. I can sit down and pour out a few words, but it doesn’t come easily and it doesn’t flow. I want to delete everything. I’m resisting that, too, and when I read it, even 12 hours later, it doesn’t seem nearly as awful.
My husband appreciates the disappearance of the clutter, and even helpfully reminds me a few more things to take care of, despite me mentioning that I’m struggling to focus on the project at hand, because fifteen others are calling – hey, just reorganize the LEGO set on the shelf… it’ll only take five minutes.
I learned when I had a baby that five minutes is really code for at least twenty, and twenty minutes is code for an hour. Acknowledging that time is a figment in our heads helped me reconcile that I could never get things done even if they ‘only took five minutes.’
So cleaning up those corners in the room I tackled took about a week. It’s lovely. I still need to sweep. I want to rearrange the built-in shelves in the living room, too. And my office bookshelves. And… apparently I have entered spring decluttering in January.
Sitting with the resistance hasn’t changed it yet. I haven’t been able to sit with any other stories, either. I have one thing I wrote today, though, which gives me hope that it’s all temporary.
It has to be temporary. I don’t have many labels I really identify with, but writer is one of them.
So I used my words today, talking to a friend about an expression I heard. And she listened, and she asked questions, and she made me feel like my words had value. She made me feel like I added something to the conversation, and that reminded me of the keychain that says “word warrior” that another friend gave me.
Word Warrior is a difficult title. That friend wrote an entire letter about how she wanted me to use my words for good purposes. I turn that keychain over in my hands sometimes, because I think about what it means to be a Word Warrior.
That, too, is part of my resistance. This is the story I love, in a world I created, about characters that I want to share. I want it to be beautiful. I want so much for it. I can’t want more than I’m able to craft at this moment.
For this current moment, I’m going to find myself a picture and craft the words that are flowing, thank my friend when I share it with her, and turn that key chain over in my hand again.
Tomorrow, I need to sit in front of my manuscript, even if it’s only 100 words. I may also find time to tidy the other corners.