Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sorry, My Banana Wasn't Ripe Enough, So I Won't Be Able to Write Today

My roommate is kind of a big deal. She writes copy for a DVD distribution company where they love and respect her for something I've known about her for years: she's a damn good writer. You know those blurbs on the backs of DVD Collection covers describing 8 hours of content in three intriguing sentences? She writes those. She can make a companion pamphlet to a documentary on Darwin clever and entertaining. Her work is often laugh out loud funny.

And it always starts with the first sentence.

She and I discussed this phenomenon recently (and not for the first time). She was working on an assignment that only had to be a few paragraphs, but it had taken her a week to get it done, because she couldn't think of a good opening line. Once she finally came up with a pleasing starter, though, the entire project seemed to write itself in two short hours. She and I are very similar in that respect.

Writers are funny creatures. We all have our own methods for getting the work done, and often without the method, there's no writing. It's an equation with 16 different variables that can only be solved on a Tuesday when there are nimbus clouds present. And that's provided the neighbor's cat didn't give you stink-eye the night before.

I've had two posts for the blog rattling around in my head for the last three weeks, and I'd really like to see them written. Every time I sit down to work on them though, I'm stymied by that intro. I try to write an opening that will grab our readers, but I keep ending up with clunky sentences that I hate. I cannot stand the thought of exposing them to public assessment.

The rational part of my brain tells me that it doesn't really matter all that much. This isn't my job. It doesn't have to be perfect, and I don't have to love it. It's just a place where I can express my thoughts. Provided I post them. But before I can post them, I have to write them down. And to write them down, I have to start with a good opening.

And so I sit silently. Stuck. Bah.

1 comment:

B.Graham said...

I, too, have about three blog posts rattling about in my head currently. My problem is that I have great beginnings that dissolve into nothingness or rambling. Boo hiss.