Friday, October 2, 2015

Unstoppable

The deadline of GONE WITH THE WOOL is looming. That’s kind of a bad pun because the book is featuring loom knitting. At the same time I am working in our family business and this was a two seminar week.

My father was a writer and he had all this restrictions where and when he could write. I decided I want to be able to write anywhere at any time. So once I check the people in for the seminar, I pull out a yellow legal pad and a pen and get going. The din of the restaurant doesn’t bother me. The fact I’m writing on a table with a wobbly leg in dim light doesn’t bother me either.

I keep on going until my son finishes the seminar and it time for me make appointments for meetings with him. That isn’t to say that what I write is the best prose, but it gets some kind of framework down. The other night what I wrote was pretty sucky. First I had this happened and then I had that happen, but it was all flat. I can always tell when I’m rereading it, or trying to – I tend to write very fast with a pen and my handwriting suffers – when it is bad. My eye glosses over the words.

But then later when I was home this magic thing happened. A perfect line that led into the scene appeared in my mind and then the rest of it followed. It was the same material from the sucky version, but written differently. At times like that I wonder where those right words come from. It is a muse tossing me help? Or maybe there is a universal flow of imagination that I somehow tap into. I know it doesn’t happen by gritting my teeth and trying very hard to rewrite the sucky version. It just sort of shows up.

So, tonight I was back at the wobbly table with my yellow pad. I knew what was supposed to happen in the scene but it was coming out in a sucky version. I just kept pushing the pen anyway. And now I just have to wait for the transformed version to show up, by letting go and believing that it will.

Life is so interesting. Five years ago I had no clue what I would be doing now. But here I am learning a bunch of new skills, doing things outside my comfort zone, and dealing with all kinds of people. I work all the time, juggling my writing career and my career as printer, bookkeeper, greeter, appointment setter, and customer service person for our seminar business. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that is all about becoming instead of being.

8 comments:

Linda O. Johnston said...

How great that you can write anywhere, Betty, even if some editing is required. And all those other skills, too--wonderful!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, the editing is definitely required. But as you know it is always better when you actually have something to edit.

Planner said...

As one of your readers, I know that you borrow on all those experiences and skills for your characters and plots. It makes your perspective and writing unique and enjoyable.

Betty Hechtman said...

Thank you , Planner.

Camille Minichino said...

I think that's one of the biggest lessons I learned, too, Betty — there's never going to be a perfect environment for writing, so do it wherever you are and draw from what's around you. Thanks for sharing that.

Betty Hechtman said...

I'm so glad you stopped by Camille!

Miriam Lubet said...

I'm wondering if the people that attend the seminar know that there is a writer in their midst?

Betty Hechtman said...

Miriam, the seminar people can't see me because I sit outside the room, but the people in the restaurant can. I sometimes catch people looking at me. I probably seem rather odd with my yellow pad and pen. I wonder what they think I am doing.