One of my least favorite things to do is deal with traffic. I like to drive, under most circumstances; I’m still enamored with the open road, music turned up, a bit of a breeze in my hair. Call me a romantic. But stuck in stop-and-go traffic, bumper to bumper, with people generally being unpleasant as we struggle to move a few feet closer to our destination; it’s not my cuppa, so to speak. I tend to get a bit agitated, in turn, by the rudeness of other drivers or the interminability of the waiting or some other circumstance that creeps into my mind; my own frustrations coupled with those of the drivers around me creates a very unfortunate negative feedback loop. I’ve been trying to break it lately, because sometimes, you just have to keep your hands on the wheel and move forward as much as you can whenever you can.
This is especially true in inclement weather. It makes an already difficult task – commuting by car – even more taxing, not to mention dangerous. Some might even avoid it entirely. Yet it’s something that must be done, more often than not, and it requires patience, time, and perseverance. You may not feel up to it, you may even put it off or try to avoid it, but if you want to succeed, it must be done.
See where I’m going with this?
Writing is work. More often than not, it’s hard work. It devours time, saps energy, drains creativity, and shuts out other people and activities. It’s an extremely solitary thing, and it can take a toll. You may feel like putting it off, but the fact of the matter is it must be done if you have a story to tell. Nobody else can tell it for you.
So get behind that writerly wheel, grab some water for the road, navigate into the traffic of your ongoing narrative, and make your way through the wordy deluge. Much like needing to make a space to get your car into the road, you have to make the time to write. Do you have plenty of gas (food)? Are you the kind of person who needs to crank the tunes, or do you prefer it quiet in your car (headspace)? Whatever you need to do to make the words happen, go and do that.
I’ll be taking my own advice tonight, and if I see you on the road, I’ll be sure to wave.