Write on Wednesday – The Click

She’d been working so hard all year, why shouldn’t it have arrived around then: that “click” when it feels as if a previously locked door has opened and words and sentences suddenly seem to exist in a new dimension located somewhere between your brain and the screen or page, leading you through an infinite house whose rooms have strange geometric shapes you’ve never seen before, yet you always somehow know where you are.  ~ from Say Her Name, by Francisco Goldman

Athletes call it “the zone,” musicians call it “the sweet spot,” and Francisco Goldman calls it “the click.” Whatever term you use, you probably know what it means – that moment when everything works perfectly, you become suspended in some alternative universe where only you and whatever you’re doing exist, and time seems to stand still.

Whether you write, play music, paint, dance, golf, swim, run – there’s a “clicking point” when your body, mind, and spirit are in perfect harmony and you just can’t do it wrong.

Getting there – now that’s the trickier part. For me, the hardest part is just getting started.  I was reminded of this during the past few weeks of my online writing workshop.  We had new assignments each week, and, in typical Becca fashion, I’d procrastinate until the very last minute.  Coming up with ideas wasn’t really a problem, but even when I had a good idea I’d put off sitting down at my computer and starting to write.

What’s that all about, anyway? I discovered my reluctance to get started was partly related to fear.  What if I took my very good idea, starting writing, and then got completely stuck? Or if I couldn’t express what I wanted to say? What if I wasted that wonderful idea with my incompetence?

That happened sometimes, and when it did it was hellishly frustrating.  I wanted to reach inside my brain and drag those perfect sentences kicking and screaming from wherever they were hiding and lay them out on the page. But other times, once I convinced myself to start writing, I was fine, and the words flowed fairly easily and fluently. On a few occasions, I actually “clicked” with my subject matter, and, not surprisingly, those were the pieces that turned out to be the most interesting and emotionally rewarding.

Maybe I need to come up with some sort of fear-reducing ritual…jumping up and down 10 times, or throwing salt over my shoulder, or burning incense.  Maybe a good stiff drink, á la Ernest Hemingway.  Whatever it takes, there’s no way to click with writing unless you’re actually writing.

You just gotta do it.

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9 thoughts on “Write on Wednesday – The Click

  1. I know what you mean about the brilliant sentence that is rambling about in the recesses of your mind only to be lost, fragmented, or just plain gone when you try to put it in print.
    I have often had those moments when commenting on a blog or writing something that I want to mull over for later; the thoughts just seem to fly out into netherland.

    Oh well, I am glad that you are able to recover most of yours so excellently and put them in your blog, I enjoy the trip.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Lou, but I’m convinced there are a lot more brilliant sentences that have managed to elude me! Still, I keep on fishing for them, and hope to catch a few once in a while 🙂

  2. Hi, Becca, apologies for being MIA. That kind of summer, one I can’t share on the blog but let’s just say it’s work stress and too much time away — some good, some I wish I didn’t have to do.

    It’s fun to read about your writing journey. I always enjoyed WOW and the group of people it introduced me to. I suffer from the same, muddle and put it off issues — this is a good kick in the pants. Albeit a gentle one!

    I’m preposting a lot for the next week or so and will try to visit from the road. Stop in!

  3. After Mom’s death, it was amazing for me to experience the absolute absence of everything needed for writing – ideas, concentration, focus, energy. It was hard to even visit other people’s blogs. Writing a comment seemed an unsurmountable challenge – I’ve never been so “un-clickish” in my life!

    What finally worked was simply ignoring all of the recent events and writing about my wonderful blooming sage. You know how sometimes, when you want to see something but can’t quite, if you look to the side it will come into focus? That’s what it was like – I was “writing to the side”, if that makes any sense at all.

    Maybe what I’m trying to say is that we all try too hard,sometimes. When I was trying to get started again, if I focused on the writing, nothing happened. When I focused on the blooming sage, I could write. And sometimes a start is enough!

    • Love it all…the truth of writing is that it is akin to pinning a big blob of Jell-O to the wall, tricky at best and often quite impossible.
      But oh my! when it works, when you ‘see the sage’ from the side, when you trick yourself into taking the first tentative step, and then ‘come to’ and realize that hours have disappeared while you’ve been in some place that I can only call grace…it is that intangible zone that beckons us to try again and again.
      Thanks for sharing Becca and for all the insightful comments from your other readers. You guys rock…

    • Linda, I know exactly what you mean about trying too hard. And the beauty of writing for your own purposes rather than being responsible to an audience or employer is that you should be able to free yourself from that feeling. The best writing often comes, I think, when you look at things “sideways.”

      Colleen, you’re right, sometimes we do have to “trick ourselves” into getting started! Once I do, I’m usually happy I did 🙂

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