Where have you all been? I’ve written at least a dozen blog entries since I last posted one here more than 2 years ago. It’s kind of sad you didn’t get to read them. They were pretty darn good. They had the exact turns of phrases that make writers giddy with their own ego, and readers faint from the unbearable beauty. Every sentence was a carefully constructed masterpiece that flowed effortlessly into the next, smooth and stunning like an award-winning dessert. Every word had a purpose, not one was out of place.
No, you don’t have to undergo trial by fire to prove your worth so I can give you access. I’m not an evil slave-driver, whatever my students may think. All you need is the ability to read my mind. You see, every so often as I’m drifting off to sleep, a gem of a phrase comes floating into my mind. If you know anything about me, you’d know that I’m a sucker for that kind of thing. So instead of falling asleep, as any self-respecting person who had to get up at dawn the next day with no hope of accessing a snooze button would do, I continue to drift.
The phrase turns into a sentence, the sentence melts into another. Words are examined, turned over, and sometimes bitten to test their mettle. Some are buffed to a shine and set in their place, while others are discarded, the bite marks still obvious to the naked eye. Soon I have a piece of writing that would make anyone proud. In the final moments before I surrender to the sweet dark cloud that is sleep, I promise myself that as soon as I wake up I’ll write every beautiful word down.
Fast-forward a few hours, and my alarm chirps softly. My mind, still groggy, issues its commands: Must. Write. Now. But I don’t. At least not right away. When I don’t allow my day to take over, when I whip all the crumbs of my self-discipline into a quivering mass of submission, I find myself sitting with my laptop. A few, tentative, scrawny-looking words appear on the screen. I scour my frustratingly self-righteous mind for all those wonderful phrases and sentences. But I don’t have a good search engine installed in my mind. I remember a word or two, or sometimes a whole sentence. But without it’s surroundings, it stares back at me on the screen, stupid and naked in its empty surroundings. I clumsily try to bend and twist a few more sentences to my will. But after a while the inevitable happens, and I give up.
Don’t worry, though. It’s all a matter of time before it happens again. One day I’m sure the cycle will break. After all, nothing lasts forever.
P.S. This is not the blog post I wrote in my mind last night. The fate of that one remains undetermined.