Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

December 12, 2011

Writing about writing and the perils therein

Filed under: Blogroll,Writing — Vadasmaker @ 3:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

When I set out to blog, I just knew I’d write about writing. I’ve since discovered that I don’t have a lot to say on the subject. I’d far rather write than write about writing, if that makes any sense. That doesn’t mean I never will, but it seems a bit circular to me. To writing about writing seems as if I’m avoiding writing, while writing about nearly anything else seems to be—well, writing.

What would my choices be? Explaining how I write? Who would care? Criticizing how someone else writes? If I was criticizing someone who isn’t a professional, I would be tacky. If I was criticizing the work of a professional, I’ve got a lot of nerve. I guess I could just give my opinion, but, again—who would care?

On the other hand, I guess my process and opinions are as good as anyone’s, and anyone who isn’t interested can go watch YouTube. So here it is. Just so I don’t shoot myself in the foot to begin with, we’ll call this my first piece about writing. It may be my last, but I don’t want to be hasty.

My process is this: Something piques my interest. I think about it a while. Then I talk about how I ought to write about it. This might go on for days. Or weeks or months or years.  Just depends. Finally, I decide I’ve got a handle on it and know just what I’m going to say. I sit down at my computer and create a new, blank document.

Suddenly, I remember I don’t have any clean underwear, and I have to go to work tomorrow. What if I didn’t have on clean underwear and I had a wreck? So I gather up all my underwear and go downstairs and throw it in the washer. On my way back upstairs it occurs to me that it would be very cool if there was no wrong side out to underwear. I have a lot of trouble with that. I always tell TBL that if a body washes up on the banks of the Arkansas River and her underwear is on wrong side out (or even sideways—don’t look at me like that. Who hasn’t put one leg through a leg opening and one through the waist opening and been unaware of it?). But I tell him that if a woman washes up on the bank with her underwear on wrong, TBL should hurry up and go identify me.

Then I realize I’m just stalling. I pat myself on the back for that insight. So I go back to the computer and sit down. I see one of the cats out of the corner of my eye and remember the upstairs litter boxes need to be cleaned. I’ll write much better if they’re clean. I run upstairs, clean them out, and before I get back to the second floor four of my five cats are busy making sure the boxes don’t stay clean. The fifth is no doubt somewhere peeing on something that’s mine. He hates me.

I take the bags of cat-do to the garbage can, but it’s in the street because it’s trash day. I have to go to the curb and get it. I toss the bags in and drag the can to its place near the back porch. I go back in the house and notice that the kitchen garbage needs to be emptied. I take that bag out, come back in, and start for the stairs. Oh, crap. TBL for some reason thinks I should replace the bag if I take out the trash.

I find the trash bags beneath the sink, but I also happen to notice the spray-on silver polish I bought ten years ago in Wyoming. Dang. I can’t ever wear my silver jewelry because it’s all tarnished. I forget the bag, take the silver polish upstairs and pull out all my silver and turquoise jewelry. Across the hall I see that my office door is open.

Oh, man. I was writing. I leave the jewelry and the spray on my bathroom sink and go back to the computer. I sit down and realize I’ve forgotten what I was going to write about. Man. It’s a wonder I get anything done around here with so much else fighting for my attention.

So, I decided to write about writing. Specifically, about my process. More specifically, all of the above.

Till next time!



  1. Wow! Can I relate!


    Comment by Joan — December 12, 2011 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  2. I’ve got to remember NOT to be drinking anything when I read your posts. And yes, I can relate too. ~Nita


    Comment by Nita — December 12, 2011 @ 6:05 pm | Reply

  3. I do the same thing. I notice that my house – and particularly those little dishes under the burners in the stove-tend to get shiniery every timne I get a writing assignment. I was told once it is “performance anxiety,” but that is full of holes! How are you performing when you are not typing a thing? Besides, I am in theatre and don’t get performance anxiety before, during, or after a performance.
    I think that therapist felt like I needed a name for my case of “thwart.”


    Comment by lottie — December 13, 2011 @ 9:02 am | Reply

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