Sunday, May 25, 2014

BIC and Writing Badly

79ยบ ~ a thin cloud cover muting the sun, a week without rain, spent the morning watering


I've written before about BIC (butt-in-chair) and writing badly, and once again I find myself right there at the beginning of the cycle. This cranky brain time is often compared to starting up a physical activity again after a time of inactivity; one must re-train the muscles or the brain's sparkplugs to fire at the right the time, to strengthen, to succeed.

So, for the past week, I've been at my desk every morning for several hours, often reading, sometimes scratching really crappy lines in my journal, and from time to time, doing nothing at all but staring. However, after years of experiencing this cycle, for the first time, I'm not really too anxious about it. Sure, there's the ever present fear and all the negative voices, but I'm holding on to past results, to the knowledge that I've been here before and I've found my way out.

One way out is to exorcise the negativity, so here's a list of what I'm hearing in my head these days.

"All the good topics have been taken."
"There's nothing left to write about."
"You've already written about your grandparents, your parents, your landscape...how boring to go there again."
"Nobody wants another bird poem so stop writing that!"
"Nature has been done to death in poetry. There's nothing new there."
"No, you can't write another poem about what you see outside your window."
"No, you can't write more poems about the body and illness."
"No. No. No. No. No."

Still, I scratch on. All the while, Gillian Welch is singing in my ear:

"There's gotta be a song left to sing
'Cause everybody can't have thought of everything
One little song that ain't been sung
One little rag that ain't been wrung out completely yet"

I hope so...I know so...I just don't know what's around the corner for me yet. So, here's a toast to letting the process work, to keeping my butt in the chair for however long it takes.

2 comments:

John Vanderslice said...

You could write a poem about rags. Or about songs. Or go meta and write about needing to keep your butt in the chair. Writing about writing is usually annoying enough to force on to find another subject!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Hah! Thanks, John.