Tug-of-War

My ambition to write is playing tug-of-war with a small army of anti-writers. They are strong, crafty opponents.

I wake early, intending to spend 30 minutes with my journal before the business day begins.

YANK. The anti-writers nudge me to the office and my to-do list. Ticking things off that list is what pays the bills, they remind me. Nine hours later, I blink away from my email and start planning dinner. No words on the page today.

I return from yoga, centered and rejuvenated and ready to write. I open my personal laptop, sign into my blog and stare at the previous two entries. They’re not my own words. Just a quote I like and a link to an insightful video about creativity and chaos.

JERK. The anti-writers remind me that I haven’t checked Facebook all day. An hour later, I power down. All I did was “like” a friend’s photo and accept a new friend. I didn’t even compose a status update.

I reserve two quiet Saturday hours to write. I am dressed, fed and caffeinated. I have my journal and favorite pen. My laptop battery is fully charged. My feet are warm. I have no excuses.

THUD. The anti-writers unearth expiring Borders Bucks. If I don’t get to the book store today, I’ll sacrifice five whole dollars. We can’t have that. A book about writing will help. Yes, it will take a month or more for me to read it. But it’s an investment in my craft.

All the while, the Writer grips the other end of the rope. Steadily, the Writer pulls. Not hard enough to topple the anti-writers, yet. But heels deep in the mud, pressing against a root or something. (Note to self: when tugging finally stops, say prayer of thanks for trees and roots.) Her muscles quake. Her pulse throbs blue in her temple. The Writer focuses on the rope.

I have won this tug-of-war before. I know how it feels when the anti-writers lose their grip, when their herky jerky moves are no longer enough and they tumble into the mud. When their weight stops pulling against the Writer, and the red ribbon at the center of the rope comes flying into the Writer’s lap.

That’s when the words will come. I know they will.

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