Writer One, Writer Two
by Patricia Dunn
Not "rated" by the Author.
edited: Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Posted: Tuesday, December 12, 2006
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A short stab at humor!
Dear New Writer,
Let’s explore the dual roles that you find yourself in as a new writer. For you will not be one writer - but two. For clarity, we’ll call them Writer One and Writer Two. You are, of course, familiar with Writer One already. It’s the image of Writer One that prompts us all into the writing life.
Writer One sits at her polished desk on a sunny morning. Her office is neat and organized; tastefully suggesting a flair for the unusual and the avant garde. A rare teakwood cabinet holds objects collected from many interesting excursions. Her family gazes lovingly at her from dust-free frames hung on the apple green walls. Writer One’s professional accolades are scattered among them. Pink roses adorn the designer table beneath the signed Renoir print. A silkened cat sleeps in a puddle of sunshine at her feet. Soft music wraps around the whole scene and Writer One smiles her perfectly lipsticked smile.
Writer One skips over a field of perfectly chosen words. Each thought is sculpted into a word and then into a lyrical sentence with the finesse of a master. She dips her brush gracefully onto her pallette of words and crafts a powerful picture. Pages of pristine type pile up on her desk in a neat stack. She of course, remains humble.
Writer One has a single interruption in her smooth and perfectly paced day. Her best friend treats her to lunch at the hip new restaurant where all the interesting people gather.
Now we must change tacks and visit the scene wherein we find Writer Two:
Writer Two has given up the foot-dance search for her right slipper and has now resorted to her knees to further the quest. She is wearing the same pajamas and robe she wore yesterday and an unintended whiff of her armpit reminds her that she must take a shower today. Writer Two discovers simultaneously that the dog has vomited under the desk and that her slipper has somehow gotten submerged in it. A cold gray drizzle pelts her window between gusts of subarctic air.
Across the room a strangely tilting table sags under piles of unfinished projects. A formerly bright bouquet of green carnations sits among the piles and is slowly turning a lurid shade of brown. A bucket is planted beneath the slow drip of rainwater that has created a muddy outline of Montana on Writer Two’s ceiling. A half-eaten tuna sandwich adorns a rusting T.V. tray that sits beneath a curling calendar.
Writer Two feels like a fraud. She has been sitting at the keyboard for two hours and has typed the word "If"and erased it three times. Her mind keeps drifting to last week’s parent-teacher meeting and the state of the laundry. Right now, she isn’t sure she could compose a shopping list. The phone rings for the ninth time. Writer Two learns that her eight-year old has somehow managed to lock himself in a closet at school and refuses to come out.
Writer Two sighs and takes a wistful last look at her office. She knows that tomorrow she’ll be back in her chair and surely the words will come. Writer Two smiles weakly but bravely as she dashes off in search of the deodorant.
Sadly, you will in all probability experience many days that resemble those of Writer Two’s. Words and ideas will fail you. You will spend hours writing only to abandon the results in despair. You will have your heart broken again and again and most times you will be the one breaking it. You will wonder if you are capable of writing anything more interesting than a note to the paperboy.
Even when you are in the "zone" and ideas are spilling over, a million interruptions will get between you and your keyboard.
But dear New Writer, take heart. For there will be days in which all will come together on a wave of sweet excellence. You will ride that wave. You will find yourself among the privileged who clumsily tap their hearts and stand back in awe of what they discover there. You will savor words like sips of fine wine celebrating the clarity of language. Hours will pass and you will not feel them go. An awakening will take hold of you. You will touch the heights of human awareness. You will be forever changed.
One final note. You will never, ever have a day like Writer One’s. But you will fantasize about it a lot.
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|Reviewed by Jennifer Butler
|A lovely article. Writers do fantasize some, don't they.|