Monday, August 3, 2009

Just for Today

As I write this, I am at a Bridgehead not far from home, seated at a patio table. The sun is shining behind the cascade of white and grey clouds with blue seeping through, and despite the gentle breeze, it is warm and humid. A young Bermese mountain dog is restless as its owners sit and chat, one of the gently rocking the baby stroller back and forth. A mature man sits cross-legged at the table next to mine reading The Ottawa Citizen. The man behind me converses with the air. Cars roll up and down the street. There's the feeling in the air that all the pressure is off. It's a holiday, and the day's to be enjoyed.

I'm never really on holiday from writing, and that's why I'm here [at Bridgehead]. There were too many distractions keeping me from the page. E-mail. Online news services. My new cell phone. So I had to get out, change things up, and take the plunge back into writing.

And I wrote. Away from all those distractions, I finished the first draft of a short story that has, for all intent and purposes, sat idle for five weeks. As soon as I eliminated the distractions writing became easier. This is what, as a writer, I struggle with. It's easy enough for me to get to my journal in the morning—I do that without fail, without question. But when I'm trying to get to the "nuts and bolts" writing, there is, lately, a resistance. And I'm not sure why.

So just for today I had to change up my routine to keep writing, and it worked. The uneasiness I felt earlier has subsided. One word at a time is how I overcome ... just for today.

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