Photo by Mateusz Dach
She’s gone awol in 2023. I’ve been trying and most of what I start, I abandon.
So today, I’m putting out an ABP to my writing muse who is MIA. Stop ghosting me. At least send a Dear Sherry, it’s not you, it’s me.” letter. I’ve tried reading, writing exercises, forcing myself to look at older pieces and edit them. Writing has been part of my life since 2008. Writing five hundred words a day has been more or less the norm since around 2013.
Submissions to various places has been the norm since 2005, and here we are, seventeen years plus years later, and I’m finding myself surrounded by crickets. No one is interested. It’s okay. Writing is like fishing. Sometimes you get skunked. The trick is to keep trying and enjoy the process even more than the hits.
That being said, I’m reminded of my dad’s story. His mom died and that summer, he stood in the Gulf of Mexico, casting, reeling, waiting. Tired of losing his bait, he uttered a prayer of frustration. “Momma. I’m here. I got a line in the water. I want a fish.” Within seconds, that jig jig jig when a fish chomps down, had my dad working his line. He pulled in a beautiful 5-6 pound Speckled Trout. It was the only fish caught that weekend, but it made for a lovely dinner and everyone knew, my grandmother had delivered now that she had closer access to the Fisher of Men.
So I sat there casting about, for words from the one who is the Word, offering my mustard seeds of thought, and hoping they’d grow and branch out to shelter a whole host of ideas.
Please writing fairy, come home. I miss you. I’m sitting here with my computer, and yes I have papers to grade, dishes to do, and some Christmas ornaments to store. I could stall and give a legitimate excuse. However, writers have to write even when every word is work. Every word is effort. My feet hurt. I’m tired and there’s still a lot of words to go, to get to that magic five hundred.
I hate this I hate this I hate this! I wonder if I could just write that over and over again to get to the count but no, I need to actually persist and hope some thoughts can be teased out of this rock of a brain. We went to mass today, the priest blessed our throats and during the course of the celebration, I kept noticing how much others fidgeted in their seats. One kid kept turning around and raising his eyebrows over and over again. Another bent over the pew. I sat there wondering how God doesn’t get frustrated with me for being focused on something other than Him in the mass, on all of us in our seemingly inexhaustible distractedness.
My writing, like my prayer life, is currently plagued by the need to wrestle every idea down because nothing comes easy. Dry time of the soul in writing means writing at all is also more important, and more effective at helping one to grow as a writer. The dry time of the soul in prayer is the opportunity to be efficacious, to seek God out of faithfulness without consultation, and to grow deeper in knowing, that seeking God means seeking without desiring to feel, without the desire to know the results, trusting in God about all of it.
I look at the word count. Jig jig jig.