Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What's Swept Under Your Rug?

What’s swept under your rug?

My last post was in January, and it was titled “First, Regroup.” 

An almost-six-weeks-long gap is quite the writing lapse, but it might have had something to do with not regrouping well after the holidays, despite my best (and documented) intentions. Not when it came to writing.

I said I had to “sweep away what can keep me from dreaming and contemplating and making decisions,” but when it came to writing, I didn’t sweep the “what” away. I swept it under the rug. I didn’t dream. I didn’t contemplate. I avoided making decisions. I left the rug rather firmly in place, as though it lay on top of an ugly, skid-resistant plastic square: the truth under a prettily woven covering.

Instead, I took on more than enough editing projects and an attitude of apathy and a little bit of Gilmore Girls and Downton Abbey and presidential race curiosity/angst. It was as though some quack writing doctor had said “Take two or more excuses and call me when you feel like it.” Oh, I did peek under the rug once or twice, but I was busy, you see, and not sure what to do with the mess under there, and apathy is a cozy state.

So here I am on February 10, staring between the snow out my window and what’s been under that rug. The mess has broken pieces and smashed-up parts, crumbs and what looks suspiciously like dust bunnies that collect over time.

And they speak, I tell you. They speak.

They question: “What is wrong with you, woman?”

They mock: “You have been here before.”

They accuse: “You’re not a real writer. Real writers cannot not write.”

They go in for the kill: "You have nothing to say. Nobody cares."

But I am telling them to be quiet today. Because real writers still have their brooms, and I have my broom. I have swept out a broken piece, and one smashed-up part, and a particularly daunting dust bunny, and some sad little crumbs. I have said, “Enough with the mess.”

So I write. I begin again. I might not be ready to throw out the rug or sweep all the mess away or polish the floor, and not every decision will be made today. But I am moving forward.

I'll ask again: what's swept under your rug?

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