I keep blogging about how miserably, masochistically and unjustly hard writing is, blah blah, poor me, poor me. Well, as Leslie Gore sang, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.”
But I had one of those miraculous moments today, one of those – dare I say? – epiphanies, one of those times when it’s all worthwhile, and darn it, I’m going to record it.
Yes, I have been in a slump of late. I play Hearts for twenty minutes before I even try to write, and it isn’t more than a sentence before I’m back to Hearts, if only to get revenge on Nicole, which would be North (the default setting on the computer) but I changed the come-with-the-computer settings (North, South, East, and West, South being moi) to make the game more interesting. More interesting, yes, but not always in a good way, because I get very angry at Nicole as well as her friends Wynona and Emma who are all mean girls and who say things that aren’t true about me behind my back.
All that drama in a game of Hearts, while nothing is happening in my novel.
And then today – I was talking about today, wasn’t I? – even though Nicole and her gal pals were getting the better of me and my winning average dipped to 29%, I saw what the problems were (are) in the scene I began four days ago, and I had ideas about fixing them.
Woody Allen is famous for having said, “80% of life is showing up.” A few years ago I saw an interview with him and it turns out he didn’t say exactly that. It wasn’t just that the wording was different; the spirit of the message was slightly different. Unfortunately, I watched this interview at 1 a.m. and I can’t remember how he modified it.
But he might as well have said it, because I’ve scoured the Internet and I find that quote everywhere.
Maybe the maxim has become engraved in popular culture because it’s true. This better day, this good day – there, I’ve said it, let the evil spirits descend – wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t shown up at Starbuck’s with my venti mocha (200 degrees, whole milk, no whip). Nothing to do but write.
Or play Hearts. And I did play Hearts, more than I would in a perfect world, but I also got some writing done, writing that for now I feel good about.
Writing is like going on a blind date every day. You get stood up half the time and half of the other time the guy is a dud, or he thinks you’re a dud. But once in a while you live happily until tomorrow.