During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight to link up your story by clicking here.) And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to my dear friend, Sandra Heska King.
In Which I Pursue Wordlessness
It’s after midnight, and my weekly words will go live in less than six hours. Except I have no words. The week has steamrolled over me and pressed me right into the muck of procrastination.
Now here I sit with panic rising but eyes drooping and mouth drooling.
So I do what I often do when I’m stuck.
I take a shower.
Because there’s something about the rhythmic pounding of water as it pelts my body that somehow unkinks my brain and allows words to sputter. I jot them on my AquaNotes pad before they swirl down the drain.
Sometimes it’s just a couple stray words. So I ponder their differences and possible similarities, consider how they might relate to the Word.
When I return, the words flow.
The shower’s a quick fix.
TIP: Regularly pursue wordlessness so words can pursue you.
Dorothea Brande writes in Becoming a Writer that if we starve ourselves long enough in a wordless void, words will eventually rush in “to fill the wordless vacuum.”
“If you want to stimulate yourself into writing,” she says, “amuse yourself in wordless ways.” She calls it wordless recreation.
Sometimes I take my camera and go for a walk or just sit in the yard, immerse myself in wordless wonder.
Or sometimes I just take a shower.
Sandra is a writing, camera-toting, recovering doer seeking stillness and simplicity to see—and just be. She tries to live Mary Oliver’s quote, “Pay attention.
Be astonished. Tell about it.”
She blogs at www.sandraheskaking.com. (But you won’t find her saying
anything over there this month, because she’s sitting in the silence.)