Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Writing in the Shower!

I write in the shower!

Yes, I am serious.

Sure the paper gets a bit soggy and since I realized it was the computer that was leading to my constant electrocution -----Ok I am pulling your chain - a little.

I see on many of the blogs I haunt, people who say they want to write - but they sit at the computer with a blank screen and don't know where to start.

If you sit down and force yourself to Sit there until something pops in your head - you are not writing.  You are punishing you - not giving in to the joy.

 My most vivid memory of childhood is my nightly "clean your plate' battle.  I spent hours of each evening staring at a green been or a cooked carrot or anything slathered in red sauce.  I had to sit at the table until I cleaned my plate.  I did not ever learn to enjoy green beans from the experience.  It did teach me that I can swallow a very large item if I can wash it down.  I can do it anyway if you take away my water, but it's harder.

(analyse that for a moment parents - I would rather choke myself to death - then chew a green bean.  My mom was doing the thing good parents did back then - they will learn to eat it IF IT KILLS THEM!)

What?  How does that have anything to do with writing in the shower?

You sit staring at your computer - daring yourself to write.  You demand that you write.  You insist that you write.  You will sit here until you learn to clean Your Plate.  You have writer's block - you have angst - you have too dang many stupid rules for yourself.

You may figure out a way to consume that green bean - but you will never ever enjoy them.
You may force yourself to tap out perfectly fine string-beans of words -but you will never fall in lust with your activity.

Writing is not learning to clean your plate.  It is finding out that you nearly roll your eyes back in your head in pleasure as you taste something new.

What is writing? 

Is eating only the moment you sit down and shovel food in your mouth?  I don't think so.  No meal ever comes to you with no preparation.  It begins with seed, and growth and death and plucking and picking.  Then it moves to slicing and gathering and cooking and at the moment when all of it falls together - and you can stand the need of it no longer - eating what is before you is not a torture - it is fulfillment - release - pure pleasure.  Food becomes joy. (ok - to the little smarty pants out there saying "What about eating out?" That is going to the book store to enjoy other peoples work - reading!)

Where does your writing begin?

  Mine does not begin in front of a computer ever.  I am speaking with "those who will be" most of the time.  A melancholy mood drifts upon me that I can't explain - I ask -who are you?  When the voice speaks - a seed has begun. 
Now I must date them a while - interview them - see them.  Decide if I love them or will move on - letting them find another who can hear them.  I warn them --  I am a cruel God.  If they stay I begin to let them charm me.  In the grocery store an old woman will walk past and for a moment I will see her pretty blue eyes - a voice will come forward and say "Those are my eyes!"

A turn of expression at the licence bureau - "I said that- it's how I speak."
A pretty magazine house - "that is where I live"
They are constantly attempting to gain my attention.

They need me - and I pay attention when I have a moment - such as in the Shower when the other Talkers - the fleshy ones - don't interrupt.

This part IS writing.  You may think your doing nothing - procrastinating - not getting famous as fast as you wanted - not living your expectations of writerly activity - not doing it Write?

Your binding yourself.  You are becoming willing to swallow that green bean whole, if it means you can get up from the table.

Don't sit down at that table.  Don't think green beans are all there is. 

Then when do I get to the good part?

What is the good part for you?  Is it being Writer MacWriterly -big shot? 
Most of us will say - No but it would be NICE!
You don't learn to play a game with the intent of being better than anyone else at it - you play it for joy.

Your relationship with the voices will change - by now you know them.
 You know that you can't stand to be without them.  You love them.  You need them and you are getting a little desperate and strange about it.  You want to write them.  Your fingers itch to bring them to life. Your sure if the world doesn't leave you alone, you're going to set something on fire, to distract it, so you can sneak away and write!

That is the moment you sit down at your computer.  That is when you let them tempt you and you are swept away in the joy of writing.

 The words fly - you keep telling the fleshys - "just a minute!" - until they are sure, this time you have lost your mind.  12 hours later you emerge feeling like you could fly if you just had a little coffee - and a nap.  You try to explain to them - but its hopeless.  They will love you anyway.

I don't want to call it word-sex  - that sounds kinda messy......So lets call it Your favorite meal of all time.
You have eaten and you are satisfied.

That is the good part - and it may have started in the shower.   Just because your flirting doesn't mean you are not falling madly in love.  Just because your not tapping away - DOES NOT mean you are not writing.

Me? I write while I drive - while I shower - while I blog - while I do about anything.....

All I am saying is don't suffocate your passion in rules.  You may learn to swallow that green bean - but you are cheating yourself out of enjoying the meal. 

 Where do You write???? 


  1. When I go anywhere, I have a pen and paper handy. The only place I haven't physically written is in the shower and that is because I can't find a waterproof way to do so. While there, I mumble ideas over and over again, maybe even verbally progressing; my husband has learned not to put the asylum on standby anymore. LOL

    You're right. When you force yourself, you may lose what you enjoy. I think a lot of writers get so caught up with an imaginary finish line they don't see anything else.

  2. I think that my parents forcing me to clean my plate set me up for obesity as an adult. It's a neverending battle for me to lose weight...biggest thing is portion control. I never go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant.

  3. This is so true. I think my best ideas come right before I drift to sleep at night. That's when my mind is at its most creative. Implementation is only one step in the creative process. :)