Words words words damnit words. I’m in one of those moods, one of those foul moods where the words just won’t do as they’re told and instead of working together into nice sentences and paragraphs they are rebelling against me. They make messes on my page, and when I’m done with them I want to scream and throw my home laptop across the room and then maybe jump up and down on its glittering electronic insides.
Nothing will put me in a sour mood faster than when my writing isn’t taking off and singing beneath my fingers. When it’s klunky and stumbling, and everything just feels wrong. I hate that. I can’t stand it. I rewrite and rewrite and it’s still wrong. And I swear and howl and scream again and again.
I can’t seem to get those words to figure together just right. Bad jigsaw words. Terrible horrible sentences structures. After awhile sentences stop making any damned sense. How do commas work again? What is this word doing here? Why did I splice this and not split into two sentences? How many ands ands ands ands ands does this all have, does all of this have right now?
Words shouldn’t do this to me, but they do, right there, look at that. I find some perfect idea, that complete and pristine idea, and when I sit down and just start trying to type towards it shadows fall against the words. And then the words flicker, burn out, and become shadows themselves.
I tell myself to stop overthinking it, to stop rewriting it, to just let go and let it all form together. You can edit it later, just take out parts. And then I go and do that, and then that whole piece feels wooden. The writing is like cardboard characters cut out and waltzing around. It doesn’t make sense, none of this works.
I want to set the dictionary on fire and devour the ashes. Maybe then I can burn up those words in my throat and spit them out and they will be perfect words. Those words I’m looking for so much, digging down below the ground and pulling up. Maybe I need to just stop this and work on something else for a little while. Maybe. Maybe a million things.
But there are such good parts here, and when the writing works! Oh! When it works it sings! And you can see it singing! A lark, a nightingale, over in the corner of our world, singing so wonderfully. And I think to myself, yes, this is it. This is perfect.
There is no greater feeling then the writing works and everything feels right. It’s amazing. It doesn’t happen often, or even last when it does happen. Some of that shine rubs off, for certain. Buy the sheer joy of it all when it’s not a struggle? Oh, that is an amazing feeling. It’s like dancing with words on a page. You feel whole again.
Until that next time you find the struggles of the words again. And it becomes painful. Words like teeth pulled from your raw and bleeding gums. Bringing rage and pain and misery. The only way to stop it is to step away and read maybe, or work on something else.
But you know it’s waiting for you, right there, watching you as you sleep. It wants to pounce and devour you. Pushing you into the rage of all hours.