Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Okay, sometimes I crack myself up.

We writers have heard it said (even if we don't follow the advice) that sitting at the writing place and being present for the words to come is part of the work. So, sometimes I sit in front of the computer for an hour or two to test this theory. It kind of works for me, but a deadline is the thing that makes me produce.

Yesterday, I needed to do some Christmas shopping. A task, and if you look at it a certain way, work. The only problem was - it was raining. Hard. It does not rain here and it was raining rats and frogs (or is that cats and dogs?). Anyway. So, I drove to the place where the shopping was to occur. I turned the car off and waited for the rain to let up a little. It didn't.

Rain does not usually make people melt, but I have lots to do lately, so I decided not to take any chances. I waited in the car for 5 minutes. It then came to me in a flash that I was present and available for the shopping, so that counted as doing the work! A writerly rationalization if ever there was one. I started laughing while I sat in the parking lot. What a bunch of hooey. It didn't change my mind about actually going into the store through the pouring rain, but at least I recognized my silliness as it was occurring.  

Funny how no shopping was ever accomplished, just considered and prepared for. Yeah, it doesn't work for shopping and I'm getting the feeling that it doesn't really count in writing either. Prove one idea wrong and the rest fall like dominos. 

So this little real life experience showed me that the real work of writing is only accomplished when you WRITE. Sitting at the computer for 2 hours DOES NOT COUNT. Writing counts. I thought about this in terms of telling my son, "Well, I went near the store, and I intended to buy you a Christmas gift . . . "

I'll be going to the store tomorrow. It will be 22 degrees (which is really, really cold for here), but I will actually go inside and purchase something. Perhaps I shall write something too.


Jo Taylor

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