Therese here. I came to know about today’s guest, Sarah Callender, after her letter landed in the WU inbox. She was an unpublished writer, she said, with a great agent (Rebecca Oliver) and a spanky new novel (Between the Sun and the Oranges) nearly ready to go out on submission. Did we ever accept guest posts from unpublished folks we’ve never heard from before? Truth is, we don’t do that very often. But I visited her blog, Inside-Out Underpants, and fell in mad love with a post there called Monogamy–about the similarities between writing a novel and staying married. Seriously, one of the best posts I’ve read on writing. Ever. Go forth and read it, then come back. I’ll wait. No, really, GO.
Okay, now that you’re back, I’ll tell you the rest of the tale. That post was so fab, my socks knocked so far off my feet, that I quickly invited Sarah to write a post for us. Happily she agreed. Enjoy!
“Poetry and Hums,” [Pooh says] “aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.”
Oh, Pooh. Do you mean Writing Hums? Those electric pulses that sauté and braise and knead our words into stories? If so, you are right, Pooh. The Hums find us; we don’t find them.
Still, I am stubborn. Too often, I find myself standing inside the door of the Belltown Starbucks, 10:00 a.m. sharp, in my raspberry raincoat and sassy wedges, lips glossed, laptop bag held tight in my hands.
The Hums said they’d be here.
But now it’s 10:10.
Did the Hums say 10:00? Or was it 11:00? And was it the Belltown or the Downtown Starbucks . . . and which Downtown Starbucks?
Gummy lip gloss coats my tongue, my throat, my creativity. I’m getting those underarm sweat circles. My elbows itch. Where are those Hums? Today’s my writing day! A whole morning without kids or appointments or distractions. WHERE ARE YOU, HUMS?
Pooh would tell me to be patient. To be silent. But I am hardly ever patient. And life is rarely silent. So I must place myself in places where Hums can find me. And then, I must Open Wide.
You, writer-friend, try it too. That’s right, pretend you’re in that dentist’s chair, only don’t just open your mouth. Open up your whole darn self so the Hums have a solid place to land. Otherwise, the Hums, worried about fuel supply, will be forced to buzz over to another writer’s landing pad, a writer who is Open Wide.
Of course, telling yourself to Open Wide may feel a little weird and scary. And impossible. As if someone is standing over your naked body with a knife or a camera, screaming, “JUST RELAX!!!!” [Read more…]