I’m walking in the dark. No, that’s not accurate; I’m walking in the deep twilight. In the dark, my eyes have adjusted to the light that’s available, and I can generally see moderately far down the path I’m on. In the light, of course, I can see way ahead. But in the gloaming (excellent word, gloaming), I can’t quite see where I’m going. There’s somehow not enough light and too much light at the same time, so I only see a step or two ahead of me and am more likely to trip over roots. (No, not rocks–big rocks are paler than ground and still stand out. But let’s save that metaphor for another time, shall we?)
The toe-catching root of the day? Topic selection.
I’ve been picking topics more or less as I sit down to the keyboard. Which is what I was doing today…except that “what shall I write about?” at 4:30pm is a verrry different question than it is at 8:15am. Over the course of the day my brain bobs along in its current of observation, information acquisition, and synthesis, and by 4:30pm I can pluck something out of the stream to share.
Pulling on my socks this morning, thinking “what shall I write about?” yielded an internal wide-eyed stare. Yes, I’ve read the paper, and I’ve had my coffee. But I’m not drawn to the topics the paper covers. My mental stream hasn’t gotten very deep. And yesterday’s nap plus last night’s sleep feels as if it is mending my energetic ebb…besides, IT’S TOO EARLY IN THE DAY TO KNOW. I’d have to tackle that follow-up tomorrow.
Morning writing is the good direction for now, but it’s going to take more support than merely my saying, “I’m going to write in the morning!” Maybe more idea-garden work? Maybe a quick scribbled note each night before I fall asleep? I mean, I’m surprised that this surprised me, but it just goes to show how even the most meta-oriented minds take a heck of a lot for granted.
I’m squinting at two other things already this morning.
One, I have so many many ‘chunks’ that beg to be first, in front of writing. First being their ticket to being certainly accomplished. There’s exercises for my IT bands. There’s my Bible lesson. Today even laundry clamored (“There’s so much lag time in between! Just sort and start one load!”). All worthy. All relatively brief–15-30m each. Except there’s that word “each,” which transforms them from easy into Real Time. And it’s Real Time that’s the perennial threat to writing time. So for now I’ll observe. Gather data. It’s better to make decisions out of data when possible, right?
Two, speaking of Real Time: my longer blog posts have been taking longer time…to the tune of a whole writing-block. Which is itself, and good to know. But between Glen and Yellowstone I was experimenting with writing other essays. Seeing how I could reach into the longer forms my Glen colleagues write. I haven’t done that since I got back…which again, is itself, but I’m now noticing. Noticing is my cue to attend to that area, but this week I don’t see how I’m going to attend to that writing AND this writing if I’m using a whole block here.
Guess that’s two steps farther down this path, huh. And I already have my step for today.