Writing out of my pocket

Monday’s quote for the day: “A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.” ~Charles Peguy.

If you don’t write, I apologize for not picking a bit of wisdom with more breadth to it. But surely even if you don’t write, you read, and it may be interesting for you to know that the words you read today in that book at your bedside table came out of its writer in one of two ways: kicking & screaming or as effortless as slipping a hand into the brain and drawing them out in one fluid, painless string.

As a writer, I can tell you pocket-days are amazing. Exhilarating. You feel as if you are under a spell, an incantation that nearly feels invasive. The words spill out lava-like and you are aware that you are a mere conduit of something bigger and grander than yourself.

Then there are kicking & screaming gut days, when you know you must write because you are on a deadline and the muse of your craft is either AWOL or present but pouting and the words are yanked out of your brain’s wordmill with gut-wrenching force akin to freeing Excalibur from stone. And then they aren’t that great anyway.

I love pocket days.

I loathe gut days.

The statue at the top of this post is of Clio. She is a very famous muse and this likeness of her sits in a hall of statues at the Vatican – an incongruous place for a fair-weather friend to hang out. She may not be the one and only writing muse, but along the wall with the other muses, she’s the only one with the writing tablets.

When I am having a gut day, I picture Clio smirking. Or maybe squinting. Or maybe sulking.

I am not entirely sure how the writing days get parceled out. Am I subconsciously in charge of that? Does the muse get to choose? Is it mere happenstance and circumstance? Does Providence endow on pocket days and withhold on gut days, and if so, is it because in some infinitely wise plan, the gut days teach me to appreciate the pocket days?

I don’t know.

I do know today doesn’t feel like a pocket day.

And I’ve got 4,000 words to write.

Author: Susan

This post has 1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on May 17, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I'd say that's an oh-so accurate commentary. And well done–especially if today is not a pocket day!

    Looking forward to reading your 4000 words~
    Mary Kay

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