Every author interview I’ve ever read says that you have to write through the bad stuff to get to the good stuff. Every blog I subscribe to about teaching writing says you have to put your butt in the chair and write…. even when you feel you have nothing to write about.
So this is me, writing through the crap.
I started to draft a poem about St. Patrick’s Day. It started like this:
I conjure up an image – seems from a faraway land
Me, a green shirt, a green beer in my hand
A crowded bar full of singing and cigarette smoke
A drunken Paddy at the bar slurring a long Irish joke
But, then, my inner critic said, “Come on, Dana! How cheesy!!” So I quit.
I started a draft of a piece about the War of the Lights that goes on in my house. My husband flicks on the lights, and I flick them off. On-off-on-off. We don’t speak of it, but we both play like soldiers. But, then, my inner critic said, “Borrrrriiinnng.”
There’s some stories about my father that are itching to be told. I feel them, just below the surface. I write them in my mind. But, then, my inner critic said, “Not yet, Dana. Those stories aren’t ready to be told to the world yet. Let them simmer awhile longer.”
So, I sit here on the couch, fingers flying over the keys, and out of the corner of my eye, I see Maddie lean over and kiss Katie so gently on the top of her head. She thinks no one is looking. That’s a slice of my life. But, then, my inner critic said, “You can’t only write about your kids, Dana. ”
So, this is just me, writing through the crap.