Musings

Spaghetti ready? It must be time to write

Share

Years ago I participated in a writer’s workshop in Chicago.

(Credit: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr)

(Credit: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr)

The opportunity was a rare one – I had nothing but my laptop and my ideas and hundreds of writers who, like me, yearned for the solitude and inspired serenity such a weekend would afford.

The moment came, after hours of early morning sessions and talented speakers and quick breaks and an extended lunch, when we were all finally released to our own imaginations.

“Write!” we were told. “Write and write some more!”

The entire room of eager scribes hushed, ducked their heads and began scribbling furiously into their notebooks.

Suddenly, I felt as I did as a child, when every girl at the slumber party drifted off into a quick and peaceful sleep. Yet, I lay awake, wide-eyed and alone.

There I was – sans husband and kids and chores and phone calls – and I couldn’t think of one darn thing to write.

I doodled. I looked around. I cleared my voice and perched my glasses onto the tip of my nose for … why did I do that?

The words weren’t there. All those wonderful little writing nuggets I had collected throughout the weekend simply sat a pile of heavy, lifeless rocks.

When I arrived home, I fibbed a little. I told my husband and friends how inspired, how moved I was by the event. I may have even hinted at a notebook that was now chock-full of my own gleaming little writing gems.

It took just hours for my normal life to resume – baby slung on my hip, kids running in and out of the house, teasing and tattling, TV blaring, phone ringing, spaghetti pot burbling.

Then, without warning, they came.

They came and I rushed to my notebook and let the words spill over onto the page. It wasn’t pretty. It never is for me when I get started.

A serene environment – calm, quiet and peaceful –is certainly a must for some writers, but I’ve learned that for me, boisterous and messy and loud can be just as inspiring.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor of Word: Home of the Educated Writer. Learn more about her at kerrismabee.com.

When it comes to the story, keep the quest

When it comes to the story, keep the quest

Kerri S. Mabee
As writers, we all look for ways to become compelling storytellers. We strive to create relatabl…
Read More
2 months agoWhen it comes to the story, keep the quest
Writing without a roadmap

Writing without a roadmap

Kerri S. Mabee
So, what's it like to write without a roadmap? I'll let you know when I arrive at my destination. Fo…
Read More
4 months agoWriting without a roadmap
Hear, feel, see with your words

Hear, feel, see with your words

Kerri S. Mabee
  "My task which I am trying to achieve is by the power of the written word, to make you…
Read More
5 months agoHear, feel, see with your words
Rekindle the magic of an unfinished story

Rekindle the magic of an unfinished story

Kerri S. Mabee
When it comes to writing, most of us would agree that we have ideas that go on for days and days, in…
Read More
5 months agoRekindle the magic of an unfinished story
Write for clarity, write for speed

Write for clarity, write for speed

Kerri S. Mabee
For those writers whose goal is to make a living with their craft, there are some things they mu…
Read More
8 months agoWrite for clarity, write for speed
The Web's best
WordPress slider
Kerri S. Mabee

Leave a Reply