Welcome to Romantic Shorts.
I promised myself I wouldn’t sit here endlessly contemplating the perfect opening blog post for this new site. So I’ll start with that.
Anyone who has ever had to write down something more than their own name – signing yearbooks back in highschool, coming up with an original greeting for the retirement card floating around the office, a letter to home, an article for a newsletter, an essay, a novel, a thesis – has encountered the dreaded abandonment of thought, feeling, imagination, vocabulary, inspiration, sanity. We’ve all been at a loss for words at some point.
Verbally, this usually results in the impromptu spewing of some sort of personal information that had no business passing across our lips. Hours later we will still be wondering aloud in the car what the hell we were thinking – and what the husband will say when he finds out I just told a group of co-workers that he likes to sing old camp songs after he’s been most satisfyingly intimate. (Geez, he should be used to this by now.)
When faced with the excruciatingly noisy silence that inevitably creeps its way into every conversation, we can only hope that at some point in our adult lives, we simply learn to shut up.
Fortunately, when dealing with the written word, the rules are quite and very opposite. More dangerous in some ways, but easier to follow. Especially given the convenience of the computer.
The keyboard and its exceptional ability to edit, move, copy, paste, and delete is the perfect way to sample what we want to say.
Write. Delete. Write, rewrite. Delete. Write. Write and write some more. Edit. Rearrange. Replace. Write again.
No writer’s cramp. No balls of paper overflowing the wastebasket. No blobs of ink all over the side of the hand/face.
The computer allows us to quickly and easily tweak and smush until we have exactly what we want.
Of course, we then have to be absolutely and completely positive that what we’ve written is exactly what we want to say; the computer eliminates the hope of insisting after the fact that we didn’t mean it.
But because everything we write electronically is virtually pliable right up until we hit the ‘send/save/enter’ key, it’s also all disposable, making the practice of writing practically effortless and inexpensive. If we avoid the pitfall of falling in love with our creations, see them as clouds in the sky, constantly changing, moving, and just learn to appreciate the process instead of the product, we begin to grow in skill and confidence.
The next time you find yourself staring at your keyboard thinking, ‘…maybe just a quick game of Solitaire until something comes to me,’ just start writing – about something completely different than where you started. Write about not being able to write. About what your husband would think about you having nothing to say. What if no one ever wrote again? What if you could spend a day writing down every thought that crossed your mind? What if? What if? What if? Once the creative juices are flowing, you’ll find you’re back on track. Maybe a different track, but at least writing again, building confidence and probably coming up with a few ideas to start with next time you’re looking for divine intervention.
There is no such thing as Writer’s Block. We stretch before we exercise. We smell our food before we eat it. We shop before we buy.
And let’s face it, sometimes the foreplay is the best part!