It’s a gloomy Sunday morning – it’s cold, sprinkling, and just plain-old blah. (My daughter picked out this font color and I couldn’t tell her no!)
For me these aren’t very inspiring writing conditions, but according to the revered writer Madeleine L’Engle, the weather is no excuse to abstain from writing unless a typhoon interferes with it. She advises writers to write a little bit every day, even if it’s “only for thirty minutes”. Now that I have two little girls, thirty minutes of uninterrupted writing time is a lot of time to write!
I have nothing profound to discuss today, no brilliant insights du jour. But I sit here anyway, typing with sparkly blue fingernails, sequestered in my husband’s office downstairs while our children gobble Gorilla Puffs. Bob Marley sings softly in the background, and I’m waiting for any bit of inspiration to strike in terms of devising a writing topic.
It’s not happening.
I usually generate my blog topic the day before I write each one. I cook up ideas while working out, carting my girls to school, taking a shower, or doing other mundane tasks like laundry and dishes. It seems the more banal the activity, the better in terms of a successful brainstorm!
I could follow WordPress’ Daily Post (dailypost.wordpress.com) for a writing prompt, but silly me, I feel like it’s cheating to do that! Many writers would argue that it’s better to find a topic that’s worthwhile to expound on, even if the topic comes from another source, than write gobbledegook. But so far I just can’t do it. I’m stubborn.
The day ahead has no major plans except for some cupcake baking with nine-year-old Avonlea, who loves to bake. She has chosen to make lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting. Now, I’m a massive chocolate fiend, and while I love lemons, to me a real cupcake must have chocolate as a primary ingredient. I also loathe plain cream cheese, although the rest of my family can’t get enough of it. I can’t touch it or smell it, so I’m delegating the frosting task to my husband.
I’ve only had half of my morning coffee ration, the day is still young, and who knows what could happen? Perhaps I may even generate a blog topic while making the cupcakes that gets me excited. One never knows.
But I’ve discovered through reading other blogs that sometimes I really enjoy simple, brief posts. I don’t require 100% profound, Huffington Post-worthy blog posts from my virtual friends. No matter what the blog author writes, as long as there’s something for me to peruse, I still feel connected to the writer.
So today’s the day I’m putting a stop to pressuring myself to write something provocative in every post. I’m accepting that divine inspiration, as much as we writers want it to descend from the heavens complete with fireworks, won’t always come.
While I wrote the above sentence, a great song came on the Bob Marley Pandora channel. I first heard this song in one of my favorite films, The Mighty Quinn, with Denzel Washington and Mimi Rogers. (Plus Esther Rolle – remember her?) The 1989 thriller, which film critic Roger Ebert called one of the best films of 1989, has an upbeat, reggae-infused soundtrack. It was shot on location in stunning, sunny, warm Jamaica.
The song is called “I Gotta Keep On Moving” by Curtis Mayfield.
“Lord, I’ve got to keep on moving,” rings out the first cheery line.
That’s just what I’ll do…instead of go hide under the bedcovers, I’ll keep on moving, slow and steady. I don’t have the win The Grand Race of Life or anything like that. I just want to keep on moving, nurture my stability, love my family, be a good friend, and help others when I can.
Dyane “Turtle” Harwood
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