The moment when I sit down behind my computer write, something happens to me. I don’t know what it is. I mean, I spend all day going, moving, accomplishing…I talk to people, I teach people, I run errands, I check off to-do lists, I pay bills. I should be able to sit down and just start going. My issue, really, should be too many ideas. I should be sitting here, agonizing over which thing I should write about since I can only write one! Is it that pithy conversation I had with the guy who tried to be a jerk to me at the store? Perhaps an inspirational snippet of a life-changing moment I got to share with a student? Or maybe tales of my latest kitchen misadventure? I mean, I’m going enough, this should be easy.
I sit down, ready to go. I power on my computer, ideas bouncing around my skull. I open my blog and open a fresh post page and…nothing.
I don’t know what it is! I am telling you, I sit down, and the words literally drip out of my head. I suddenly can remember nothing worth writing about! And before one of you smart, writer-y types suggest it, I in fact have a list of semi-completed drafts I can go to if I’m in a bind, but you know what? I always think, “But some other day, I’ll be more strapped for time,” or (and this is by far the most frequent) “I don’t feel like writing about that right now.”
I guess this is why singing and music are my primary passions and writing is my hobby. I make myself sing because I know it’s good for me. Writing is something to do when I “feel like it.” (This also may be why all my novels are unfinished…)
But seriously. Why is that? I should just be able to sit down and slam one of these babies out–boom!–and move on. I mean, I’m a busy girl. I’ve got a rehearsal tonight from 7.00-10:00. I don’t have time to be wasting! I need to get this checked off! And the minute I write this all out, I suddenly know the reason why I can never think of anything. And it’s so obvious, I’m not quite sure why it ever baffles me.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not the most naturally reflective person. I’m good at lots of things–and one of the things I’m good at is being “in the moment.” In the words of Lion King, “You gotta put your past behind ya.” My college voice teacher told me that it’s live performance. Mistakes happen. Beating yourself up about a mistake that already happened, that you can’t fix, is only going to cause you to make half a dozen more mistakes in the meantime, because you know what? The song didn’t stop. The music is still going on. And life is kind of like that, I reckon. You can’t undo what is done. You make amends where you can and move on. It’s really a great quality, and I know this is a gift. I know I’ve been able to do what I’ve done, and I know who I am because of this.
However, it does mean I tend to never, well…stop. Life is full. Analysis is for people who like things like math and build bridges and buildings and stuff. Analysis is important because you don’t want that skyscraper to collapse in a light breeze. My life…eh. I’ll get to it.
Sitting d0wn for these posts is, often, the first time in my day when I actually stop. I can’t think about what to write, because it’s the first time in the day where I’ve just sat. Done nothing. Sifted through the day and separated the proverbial wheat from the chaff. What did I do today? What actually matters? What conversations are worth thinking about, remembering, and (darest I say it?) analyzing? What happened versus what happened?
So, you know. The whole “thoughts emptying out of my head” thing is probably not such a bad deal. It gives me (forces me?) to think about things. I have to get serious and analyze what is happening. I have to focus on those moments in my day that are important–those experiences I have that are shared by so many people.
So, my fellow writers, don’t fear the blank screen! Let your brain do its thing! The words will come. So breathe. It will happen. (I mean, look at me! I seriously just wrote an entire post about not knowing what to write about…it can happen!)