I bleached the shower this morning. It’s a job I hate, hate, HATE doing, but you know what the inside of a shower looks like when you are prone to procrastination. I won’t go into detail.
Anyway . . .
As per my habit to turn every situation into a learning experience, I thought about how this annoying task could be relevant to my writing life. My mind was blank. I had nothing. Until an hour after I was done and the whole house smelled like bleach.
My shower enclosure is clear glass, lovely when it’s clean and disgusting when it’s not. For the past few days – okay, maybe two weeks – I haven’t been able to see anything through that glass while I take my shower. I was starting to feel sort of claustrophobic.
About the same way I was feeling about my writing.
I don’t know if there is any government funded scientific research going on to determine the correlation between dirty showers and writer’s block, but I’m sure it would be worth someone’s effort to look into it. I can attest to the fact that my little adventure with a bottle of bleach and scrub brush has indeed opened up some interesting windows. Just as I needed something to clean the shower, my story needed something to cut through some of the grime and build-up. The unnecessary fluff. The irrelevant drivel. The stuff you write just so you can say you’re writing when you know very well it’s going to end up at the mercy of your delete button.
Sometimes that means you have to go back to square one and look at what you’ve written with a more critical eye. Sometimes it means you give it to someone else to read and provide you with feedback. Sometimes it means you just put it away and write something else.
The claustrophobic feelings are mostly gone. I am hopeful. And I am pretty sure I can do this, even though I may simply go back to Chapter One again to fix those bothersome bits.
The important thing is: WRITE!
Now go bleach your shower.