04 May 2010
I've always been able to feel "the luck groove" as I call it. It's sensing the right time to leave the house for a walk so I avoid the rain and run into an interesting person in the park to chat to yet still make it to breakfast before they stop serving at 10:30. I thrive on that feeling. It's how I win pool games. But I also know there's a universal law that luck never holds. That's why I've lost as many pool games as I've won.
When I feel the needle bump out of the groove and hear that screech like fingernails on chalkboard (those of you old enough to have owned a turntable and seen chalkboards will know what I mean), I choose to lay low. I putter and carry on with activities set in motion when the luck was there. I've been wrestling with a new computer, setting up a home network, promoting my husband's art exhibition, researching IVF, learning to read guitar Tab, and troubleshooting my Western blots at work, but the hardest thing has been keeping my writing and revisions from grinding to a halt. I know its not working. Everything I write is crap.
My writing is too important to me to rely on luck, moods, or the weather. I want to perform whether I'm in a comfy chair with my favorite coffee mug and writing tiara or scribbling with a leaky pen on a bumpy bus ride. I've been good about pressing on through the ups and downs for the last two years (since I fully committed myself to this life), but the last month I've stumbled. I'm not feeling the luck or much of anything. The writing mood starts to build then drifts away. I keep going with the edits, but now everything I've done before looks like it needs to be redone. Have I accomplished anything? Am I the Sisyphus of writing?
I work on my manuscript for at least an hour everyday, aiming for 500 new or revised words. It's agony, but I do it (most of the time). I'm too stubborn to give up. And now, here I am posting again! I've redecorated the blog and put up a photo without a speck of cat hair in sight (it took a while to find one). I'm feeling the first trickles of returning luck, so I hope the writing fever comes back too. If not, I'll learn to do without, because, even when the writing aches, I'm happier with it than without it.
What about you? How do you live without the luck groove? What keeps you going when the writing doesn't work? Are you an optimist or just plain stubborn?