A Writer’s Muse:
By: Christine McFarlane
I’m hunched over my black wooden desk in my one room apartment. I’m writing by one light-the kitchen light. It emanates from the small stand in kitchen to where I am sitting, a few feet away. Silence is all around me, except for the occasional rumble I hear from the street above me, and the TAP…TAP…TAP sound as my fingers scramble to form words to write my latest article.
Ideas are abound, words stumbling about in my head, tripping over themselves as they appear on the computer screen before me. I lift my gaze from my laptop keyboard and look at my screen for a couple of minutes, to check the progress I have made. As my eyes scan what I have written, I see a few typos and have to laugh. Not so long ago, I wouldn’t have laughed so readily. Imperfection I could never laugh at, and typos just made me want to scream. I hit the delete button, and my typos disappear in a matter of seconds. I am reminded of back in the day when computers weren’t available, and how back then, we used a typewriter, or just plain old pen and paper.
The typewriter was a great invention but large and bulky. The machine itself was a nuisance when I think back to it now. It was a mechanical or electromechanical device with keys that when pressed, caused characters to be printed out one character at a time. Typically one character is printed per key press, and the machine prints the characters by making ink impressions of type elements similar to the sorts used in movable type letterpress printing. How slow and laborious! Can you imagine how long it took just to make a paragraph, and when you made a mistake, having to re set the whole typewriter just to start all over again. How annoying!
Technology has changed these days. We’re not as involved in what we produce as we would have been, say five years ago. Mistakes can be made on your computer and cleaned up in a nanosecond. We have our IPhone, if we’re lucky to afford one where if we make a mistake while messaging someone, we are automatically autocorrected. A machine thinks and corrects for us! Yes, we still have erasers, correction tape, and the plain old act of re writing something, but to admit that we still write things down, and rely on pen and paper is almost laughable to kids and teenagers these days. Oh boy! Do we have it easy now, “I think to myself.
What would I do without my computer? I ask myself. The distraction from my computer screen allows me to take a moment to raise my arms and stretch. I can feel the muscles in my forearms contracting, the muscles in my back stretching and as I move my head from side to side, a hideous cracking sound comes from my neck. Good thing, I am alone, I have known people to cringe when my neck has cracked before, and have said “you had better get that checked out.”
How do I tell them, that my neck has cracked like that, since I was in my twenties, as a result of an injury and that there’s nothing that can be done for it. The cracking of my neck snaps me back to reality. Massaging my neck briefly with one hand, I shake my head and bend over my keyboard once more. I have to focus.
Tap…Tap…Tap… my fingers go with lightening speed. It’s the only sound I hear right now. I have given myself a task, and I tell myself I need to stick to it. I have to write every day for a certain amount of time. I have to show up to the page and write whether I want to or not. The act of writing will give me discipline and focus. I’ve learned this from the various writing books that I have read, and I have learned it from other writers when I have asked them what do they do, when words don’t come so easily. They tell me
“ Write every day. The topic can be about anything you want it to be. You can write about love, or about disappointments. You can write about a hero, or something that you really don’t like. You can write about your dreams, your hopes and your inspirations. The topics are endless.”
And then they say
“ As a writer you must show up, even if that means writing a hasty journal entry, researching where you can send some work out to, and making notes or sitting down and revising works that you have already saved from before. Everything can be re looked at and revised. Just write.”
Once again, I'm hunched over my black wooden desk in my one room apartment. I've been typing for over an hour. Silence is all around, except for the occasional rumble I hear from the street above me.
TAP…TAP..TAP goes my fingers as they scramble to put words together to form a story. I tilt my head sideways for a minute, and then look back down to the keyboard.
The words are flowing…
Writing….I love writing.