I was going to title this post: Nothing Is More Invisible Than Writing. But that’s a fairly finite statement, and I like having wiggle room. Instead, let’s note that few things (VERY FEW THINGS) are more invisible than writing. Ha! Try arguing with that.
The reason I’m compelled to write this post is that I spent much of the morning writing. And now, early afternoon, I wonder what I did all day. My husband has taken his mountain trek, and has over twelve thousand steps to show for it. My pedometer reads…. Oh jeez, 799. Seven hundred ninety-nine lousy little steps; what was I doing all morning? Not very much it seems. Hmmm….
This time last week I’d been a busy sewing bee; two small quilts were put together in a matter of days, and now both are happy to wait for the arrival of my grandson. Making a quilt is so visible, man, no way to miss the hum of the machine, the fabric spread out, spilled safety pins on the floor. Quilting is like putting oneself so visibly on the map, while writing is about as squirreled away as one can get. I write, but I’m the only one who knows it. Words are safely tucked out of sight, as if all that sturm und drang never occurred. But it did; I might not have oodles of steps to prove it, but today I furthered the plot a little more forward.
Maybe not much more forward, but some ground was gained. And in a long story, any ground is good ground.
But now, an hour after saving today’s chapter, shutting off that side of myself, I’m feeling lost. Well, okay, not lost. I’m feeling somewhat deflated. When I spend time sewing, all I’ve managed is calculable, either in that the quilt wall looks depleted, or sewn rows have accumulated, or there’s a basted quilt lying all over my work table. It’s tangible; I can put my hands on it, show it off, admire what I’ve made. There is so little of that in writing, but never before have I understood how singular a task is writing, how solitary. How silent; other than my fingers hitting the keys, writing is about the quietest job imaginable.
Now, I’m not talking about what happens after a book is done. Let’s be clear about just what I do mean; the crafting of a story is so off the map, it’s like it’s happening on another planet. And that planet is uninhabited, so there’s still no chance of anyone noting all that a writer has done. It’s like the words are sucked into a black hole, soundless and void of existence. Like is there a story about Eric and Lynne, Sam and Renee, Stanford and Laurie and Seth and Marek? How do you, dear blog reader, even know if I’m just blowing smoke? Maybe there is no hawk after all….
It’s possible, well, except for the excerpt I posted months ago. But beyond that, all this blathering about a hawk, some hawk, THE HAWK; what is all this truly? Why does it matter, who even cares?
Well, um, I do. I’ve been working on this story since October 2013. Now it’s mid-January 2015, and with ninety-three chapters done and dusted, I just needed to point out that there is more to my life than quilting. Quilting is still wet behind the ears when compared to the writing.
You see, I am a writer. You may have no manner in which to perceive it, yet, I write. And in those words, another world exists, people laugh, cry, and love. It’s very similar to real life, at least at this point, because the story hasn’t ended. And I have to remember that, when I get in a tizzy (like right now); one of these days I will finish this novel (I will, oh I will….). And when I do, then this time that is writing The Hawk will turn into something else.
But for now, yeah, I’m a writer. It might not appear that way, it might not appear at all. But it’s true, even if it’s all fiction.