What do you do when the words won’t come? Debbie sent me her outline of our current chapter last week. As you read in her last blog, she is the focused, organzied half of our writing duo, while sometimes my mind is as sharp as a rubber ball. I had told her for several days that the chapter would be in the email today. I meant to do it. My heart was willing. The simple truth is that the words had escaped me. Like an ice cube on a hot summer day,the dialogue and descriptive passages melted away. My fingers, poised above the black keyboard, could not catch them. I tried several methods to summon them. I read. I played a computer game. I did the laundry. I went to the store. Can you believe none of these things worked? So today I tried something drastic. I went to my office. I closed the door. I turned on the computer. I pulled up our latest chapter. I made myself focus on the task at hand. It was slow going at first. The words were reluctant to co-operate. Soon though, one word became two, words became sentences, sentences became paragraphs. The words were there all along. They were waiting for ME to arrive.
I read somewhere that a famous author spent eight hours a day in his office, even if he never typed a single word. Writing was his career, his livelyhood. I’m not sure I can promise that level of concentration, but I love the ebb and flow of words. I know instinctively if I focus, they will come. Perhaps I’ve learned a valuable lesson today. Time will tell.