Walking on Alligators

It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility; they must have action, and they will make it if they cannot find it.
~Charlotte Bronte



I got on the train and began writing when my pen decided to go postal and ink itself to death while taking my right hand hostage.
I wanted to write because I ransacked my leather satchel like a madman looking for another pen which I didn’t have.
(One pen in my bag and I call myself a writer. What is up with that? Sheesh)
I cleaned off the suicidal gel point and opened my journal to write, black fingers and all.

I’d just read a thoughtful little piece in a book called Walking on Alligators – a book of Meditations for Writers
The uber short chapter focused on something we creative types can all agree on.
I think.

How many of you have put off your writing in hopes of waiting for that ‘perfect’ moment? That time when the stresses of your lives are at their lowest level?
If you’ve never found yourself in that situation, I’m jealous.

I’ve done it many times but try hard to tell myself that writing itself, be it good or bad, happens in the midst of our hectic and stressful lives.

Ideas show up unannounced, sometimes in the mid-bite of a ham sandwich, while waiting for your oil to be changed, or driving an altogether too familiar fifty mile stretch of highway when your subconscious thoughts come out to play.
I’ve even had words come to me sitting in the dentist’s electric chair.

Always have a pen and paper.
If your pen explodes, clean it off and continue.
This is writing.
And this is life.

The author, Susan Shaughnessy, explains that “. . . books, poems, and screenplays are written while household appliances are breaking down, rebellious kids are trying your patience, and family and friends are quarreling and making up again.”

I thought about how brilliant that thought truly was and wanted to share it with you.
Write today.
Don’t wait until the morning sun rises and your life will supposedly be settled and less hectic.
Class dismissed.



3 thoughts on “Walking on Alligators

  1. But I’ve never liked homework. I’ve always liked, and did well in, the classes where I could just sit and listen to the teacher and learn everything I needed to know. I like listening.

    But i understand what you’re saying. And that is good advice. Ideas come to me at work, and I usually jot them down somewhere. I just never (okay, it’s more like, rarely) get around to following up.

    Oh, and my purse is full of scraps of paper with ‘junk’ written on them.

    Nice post.


  2. All too true – and the reason I have odds bits of paper, old envelopes, napkins and coupins in the bottom of my purse, with scribbles and the occasional coherent thought. The bitch is when the thoughts come during driving – even if you have a pad of paper and pen, it’s still hard to pull off. 😉


  3. I try waiting to put pen to paper sometimes in the hopes that the perfect writing moment is just on the horizon. A blissful moment where all the world is at peace and I can lock myself away in my room with my thoughts and a pen. The trouble is that each stress and annoyance is replaced by another and my “moment’ never comes. What’s even worse, though, is that I lose posts, journal entries and letters I could have written by putting them off. And because the process of writing helps me to think through things, I lose an opportunity to learn and grow a little more.

    I completely agree. It’s much better to write today, stresses and all, because all of the things that get in the way are never going to just up and vanish. But if you ever happen to discover the elixir of “perfect writing moments” let me know. 😉



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