The Urge to Write
For the love of writing utensils
No use fighting the urge
As a writer, we all know this sensation. The pain in our fingertips until we can finally touch the keys on the keyboard. The sting in our hands, longing for the simple touch of a pen aching for paper. It is the urge to write. An urge so strong that even with a small drink, we still want more.
This urge is indescribable. It is something we can’t get enough, nor do we care to fight it. We lust for the pen and paper; we yearn for the clickity clack of the keyboard. The tippity tap of the keys is music to our ears as the melodious thoughts pass through our head.
Yet, as most writers know, sometimes this urge to write fails us. The dreaded writer’s block has taken us prisoner. We make a date with our word processor and sit and stare. Not a single word of brilliance can we force out. We long for the words to flow and still nothing. Our mind is empty. All those wonderful thoughts meant for others to enjoy are now hidden out of sight and out of mind. We are lost in emptiness. The date has become a complete flop.
Miserable… we leave our place of writing heaven and venture on to some other project. Within seconds, the words start flowing again. The urge has returned. Yet, why is it the urge to write always comes at the most inconvenient of times.
1. While in the bathroom
When nature calls sometimes the urge to write screams out as well. Whether we are sitting on the toilet or getting ready for the day, the bathroom is the most notable place for ideas to form. Yet, it seems awkward to bring your writing utensils with you. Not to mention your hogging a room of the house others may need to eventually use as well. As anyone on the outside of the door knows, a minute is longer on the outside of the door than it is from inside. So you might want to reconsider finishing your novel inside of the bathroom.
Not to mention electronics and bathrooms don’t really mix. Now, while it might be ok and acceptable to use the hair dryer, curling iron or even flat iron while in the bathroom, I am sure the use of a laptop while sitting in the tub could only lead to an electrifying writing experience. It is probably not the best use of your bathing and writing time to combine the two activities together.
2. When company comes calling
Why is it when it would be considered rude to break out your laptop or a pad of paper, the ideas start flowing and the words are there for the writing. Maybe it is because these shy ideas only come running out when they know you have no way of catching them and writing them down.
Hours before company even walks through the door, the ideas and the words are no where to be found. Yet, the second they are there, you are stuck dreaming about your laptop and what thoughts are currently running around your head. Maybe it is something someone said to you that encouraged the thought to pop into your head… or maybe it is just because you are preoccupied and can’t get anywhere to capture that little beast. Yet, it never fails, when opportunity comes knocking, the thoughts are unable to be captured until company walks back out through that door. And when they walk out, so does the inspiration and those words you had just seconds before.
Kids Kuddle Time
3. When cuddling your children
As a mother of a 1 year old, I already know the jealousy that comes from the closeness to my laptop. Even if my baby is no where near me, the second I open up the laptop and even think I might have a few minutes to jot down an idea, he comes running.
That is when the battle begins. He will come up next to me acting all innocent, as if he is just there to watch and cuddle. Yeah, right! Obviously the melody from the keyboard is too much for him to stand. He too must join in… and that is when my creative explosion of words turns into… awaerjoeinlakdfasskdjf… It is a frightening mix of the alphabet that causes the words to back off and run away as fast as they appeared.
As I try to encourage them to return, my child has found a new game. The one where he tries to close my laptop. There is no use in fighting this battle. The next step for my baby is to try and kick the screen. Fearing for my laptop’s life, my only choice is to shut down and return later when he is occupied with something else, preferably a nap.
Now, I don’t mind my cuddle time. In fact, it is the very best part about being a parent. Before you know it, the child will turn into a teenager and they will be wishing you wouldn’t pay an ounce of attention to them. While I do miss those ideas, I am positive I will miss the attention my child currently craves. It won’t be long until he pushes me away to my laptop. And then I will wish I would have closed my laptop and enjoyed the attention he was giving me.
4. When scrubbing the floor
This situation may seem a little odd, yet, whenever I get that bucket filled up with hot soapy water I find the ideas start flowing. But, I am otherwise consumed by the act of cleaning the house. If I run to my laptop, the ideas will still be there, but so will the bucket and mop just waiting to do their job. While I would like to say the laptop has first priority, I also prefer to live in a clean house. Therefore, those floors will need mopping eventually. Since it never fails, the sound of the mop bucket being filled will always cause an overflow of ideas, I know there is no escape. So, scrub fast and hope those sneaky ideas don’t leave. I usually find talking to myself throughout the cleaning process is a good way to keep a grip on those words so they don’t wander off.
Mopping isn’t the only problem. It happens when I am cooking, when I am doing dishes, as I am folding laundry, cleaning my room or even scrubbing the bathroom. There is just something about cleaning and organizing that has my mind wandering elsewhere. It is inconvenient, but the scrubbing and cleaning has to be done!
5. When driving
This is probably the most dangerous spot to have ideas flowing. There is no chance, and I highly recommend you do not try this while driving, that you can break out your laptop and start typing while behind the wheel. Even if I am the passenger, the car is a breeding ground for ideas and thoughts. Yet, I have a condition. I get car sick very easily. Therefore, even in the safety of the passenger seat, the car is not the place where I can get a quick writing session in.
So, if you are the driver and you find those nagging words pushing their way out, take control! Talk your way through it until you are safely stopped and can get your hands on anything that could be mistaken for a pen and a piece of paper. Napkins work good for a pad of paper and lipstick makes a wonderful pen in a pinch. If you are the passenger and you are able to write without getting interrupted by the driver or getting car sick, you are a lucky dog! I am not that fortunate. So, I must follow the same advice as if I were the driver, hoping that I can retain these ideas before they leave me again.
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Oh the pain
For as long as I can remember, the urge to write comes at the most unusual and strangest times. Yet, I press on. I fight with to keep them contained. Sometimes it works and I can come out of it writing something magical that many others, or maybe even just myself, can enjoy.
Other times, the thoughts become lost. They sometimes tease me by coming back again, usually when I am in one of these previously described predicaments. I once again try to glue them into the paper of my mind. It is a constant battle. One I am sure most of us, at least those who consider ourselves a writer, fight on a regular basis. Does this give us bruises and black eyes… well, I guess that only depends on how aggressive of a writer we are.
However, the urge to write is something that lies deep inside us. It is painful and joyous all at the same time. We trek on trying to find balance; to live life and write all our ideas down in the short amount of time we have. Yet, with each experience we have, we come up with more ideas. Sometimes there are more ideas then there is time to write it all down.
Once we start writing however, the ideas slowly start to leak away. The pressure has eased… and once again I find myself looking for what’s next. Maybe I need to break out that mop bucket again.