Thursday, October 1, 2009

Frankly, My Dear...

It's one of those days. It's raining. It's grey. The laundry hasn't disappeared and the dishes haven't put themselves away. My two cats are sleeping in the dining room and each of them open an eye to give me a withering stare if I dare to walk past. I know I should shake off this mood and dig back into my manuscript, but on days like today it's hard. Really hard.

There is no deadline hanging over me like a scythe. No ominous footsteps can be heard approaching. It's just me and my writing and my brain saying "Frankly, my dear...". A better soul would have been able to motivate themselves and would, by now, be typing furiously away; the staccato of the keyboard lending a rhythm to the bright and cheery humming leaking from their lips. I feel sure small chubby bluebirds would be circling around the yard as evidence of the magic happening within the house.

Not here. Here, it's raining. Here, it's grey.

These are the days when all of those thoughts come slithering back into my brain. Those thoughts. We all have them from time to time and I have learned to shut them out but at the moment they are so numerous that they're leaking out my ears.

Writing can be glorious. Writing lets you explore new lands and create new characters and experience adventures through their eyes. It can teach you things about other people and certainly about yourself. I enjoy being a writer...most days. But today?

Today, it's raining. Today, it's grey. And the cats continue to glare.


  1. Elspeth -
    It sounds as though today is almost exactly the opposite of your "in the zone" post of the other day. I've had those days, too. What I've found is that if I force myself to write on those days, what comes out is bilge, to put it bluntly. I've deleted more than one chapter because I wrote it from the wrong "place," for lack of a better word. I think readers can always spot forced writing, anyway, and don't like it.

    For what it's worth, when I have those days, I don't write, even if it means a delay in getting work done. I find something else (there's always a long list!) to do, and I often find myself inspired by that break.

  2. Margot; No writing today. I shall clean the house and mull over various plot points. Bilge is a wonderful word!

  3. It's grey and it's pouring
    The old cats are snoring
    Tie a bell to their tails
    You won't think it's boring

    Play instead of writing today. Tomorrow, the words will be ready to reveal themselves.

  4. Carol; That's great! I won't tie a bell to my cats' tails, however. I'd never survive!

  5. Some days are just ... like that. They are what they are. Do a chore you've put off, then do some fun, relaxing things. Let your mind rest. Tomorrow will come and writing will start again.

    Straight From Hel

  6. Take a day off and bake some cookies. That always helps.

  7. Sounds like a good day to curl up on the couch and watch a bunch of West Wing episodes with a cup of tea. Or something more along the lines of a guilty pleasure.

  8. There's a charming poetic lilt to your prose. Love the writing style. Enough to "give a damn" about it - for REAL! lol

    Nice post, here's to a bright sunny day for ya tomorrow. It's like top shelf wonderful sunny and bright Fall colors here in SE Michigan today.

    Marvelous Marv

  9. I think rainy days are the perfect time to climb in bed with a good book! Unfortunately, I work full-time so I never get a chance to live out that particular fantasy!

  10. Ah, the grey days of BC. If it will help, I could impose a deadline for you to meet.

    Things will soon return to normal.

  11. I totally understand! I had that all last week. But hey, if we never had days like that, we'd never get any slacking done. ;)

  12. You seem to have had a para-zone day today. Maybe the zone will follow today?
    But even as I say that, I have to tell you that there is a wonderful lyricism to your post today.

  13. I think I'm having the same day and I think your readers are giving you great advice, sometimes we must just say- okay I give in and go and play!

  14. Thank you all for your kind words. I love to read all the comments and I have learned that days like this just happen every once in a while.

  15. Elspeth, since I don't have your e-mail, I dropped back over here from Lauri's blog, just to tell you, the book, Writer's Houses, will not disappoint. It's terrific. House guests are always intrigued by it. (I keep it on a table by a nice comfy leather chair.)

  16. slogging is no fun. at all. nor is it glorious or award winning. but i'm convinced that character is built, tiny edge by tiny edge, through the very effort of slogging. and ultimately, that is delightful :)

    My motto? "Nulla dies sine linea" -- Never a day w/o a line....and if i don't always live up to it, I certainly give it a heck of a try.

    best of luck getting through the dreary day and kicking grey, rainy butt.

  17. Alex; Your motto is a good one. Glad to have you aboard!


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