Sometimes It Goes Like This

I was walking from the coffee shop, crossing the road to the academy where I teach part-time, when I noticed it. I was in the middle of the crosswalk, and I felt good. I smiled.

I was lighter. I had just sat in a coffee shop and written steadily for an hour. I had worked on an article. I had tried to write this particular article last Friday night after Jude went to bed. But when I got to the last paragraph, it seemed I had two different pieces fighting each other and neither of them was quite on topic. All the editing in the world wasn't going to write a brand new piece. So I put it away. I reviewed my initial pitch for the article and re-centered my intention and most importantly, left it alone. I know many writers don't have the luxury of time, but in this case, I am glad I did.

As I was running down the stairs to the car this afternoon a sentence jumped into my head. I hadn't been thinking about the article at that moment, but had set today as the due date for finishing and emailing it. And as I started the car, this one sentence sprouted into a rough structure. And that's the moment I knew I could write it.

And I did. After I had written it and rewritten it and reread and reorganized and rewritten and reread once more, it was done. Writing is always hard work. Every time.

Today I put something on the page and it left me. The physical sensation of the loss was strong. But it was a positive feeling. My body experienced less resistance as I moved. My feet were tempted to skip down the sidewalk and it was hard to keep from singing.

Maybe when I write, I am somehow tapping into the very essence of what I am meant to do and who I am meant to be. So after I spend time with words, I have dug out a comfortable little hollow in the world, a snug place that is exactly me-shaped. It feels right.

Not everything I write is like that. Often it takes more time. Sometimes I give up. Most of the time the struggle to figure out what I'm writing isn't so easily resolved. Usually it doesn't all come together so neatly. But today it did.

And when it does, it's beautiful.

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