Three ways I think about writing when I'm not writing {Just One Paragraph 13/30} / by Christina Rosalie

I show up to write a paragraph tonight after watching Silver Linings Playbook. It was good, though it wasn't what I expected, and now it's later than I expected. Still, I've done this small practice for enough days now that it feels like a habit. Enough days that I show up even late, just because. My fingers following words across the keyboard, right out to the edges of my thoughts.

I scribble notes as we're talking; our weekly conversation about the book we're gradually outlining. I draw lines, connecting notes, a geometry of ideas. Pattern recognition. I try to reconcile myself with the fact that I still don't have make enough time to write regularly for this project. Then I try make up for it by thinking about it in all the in-between times, my iPhone full with audio notes, driving to and fro. I haven't transcribed them yet.

I mow the lawn in concentric circles, my thoughts circling with me, sifting, growing steady with the repetition. Then it surfaces: the fiction story, the one that I read a snippet of aloud to my writing group, so rough that the characters barely lift off the page...and yet. I can't shake the characters. They have the makings of a story that matters. Next I catch myself thinking, "Why am I thinking about this fiction stuff, when I've got so many other things I should be writing?" I catch myself. Should. I make plans for fiction. Hours of it. Fuck should.