Writing Isn’t Hard. You Just Cut Open a Vein and Bleed…
I”m sitting in the Cushman Cafe surrounded by young men and women on laptops. I can imagine that the wifi connection is strained with all of the open laptops–practically every table has someone who is connected to the web and they’re all doing this as they drink coffee and take bites of egg sandwiches. I am here to write a travel article, but I feel my productivity slipping away.
I don headphones and play non-vocal music, jazz to keep out the noise. It doesn’t work as the pop music playing on the cafe stereo leaks through and makes my jazz muddy with each soaring vocal. No point in trying to hide. I have always told myself that if I want to get a story written I have to leave my home office and go somewhere that won’t be full of distractions. But this wasn’t the right choice. The words are reluctant this morning–frozen like the car windshield after the cold night.
I spend most of my days editing other people’s stories, and trying to keep the flow going. I sometimes forget how hard it is to sit down and write travel articles. I am writing this piece for a magazine, so there is a helpful external deadline. Still, I’m dead in the water here, only a few paragraphs have been typed out and none of it will make it to the final version.
I read other stories written by fellow writers who were on the same trip with me, and it gets worse. How come I can’t write like them? Why don’t I remember these details that the one young writer remembered? Why can’t I phrase it all as easily as the friend who had her story published in the Chicago Tribune? Am I a piker? A small fry? Where is my game?
I know I’ll figure this out…but it will take moving to a neutral place and a determined push. Maybe a little Facebook will help.