Into the Wild


A new year. Here, it’s a gale-force rain storm. I’d thought about writing in a local cafe today, but, after venturing forth to take my daughter’s huge homework project to school, ended up back on my bed.

As a family, our new year resolution is to get outside our comfort zone. Even our priest used those words in his New Year’s homily, urging us to become more saintly. Get out of your comfort zone. We seem to be hearing it everywhere.

There’s nothing comfortable about trying to write as well as you can. It doesn’t matter if I’m on my bed, on a  train, or in a car on the Palestine/Israel border (where I once wrote a very good poem)…I’m still taking risks.

A narrative is very revealing. It shows the limitations of your thoughts and your courage. It allows others to see the limitations of your character, of your very self.

And that’s only if you’ve done it WELL. If you’ve made a mess of it, it’s excruciatingly embarrassing.

Too, as Annie Dillard says, when you leave a manuscript alone for too long, it grows feral and wild. You have to ‘hack your way back into it.’

I have left my heroine like Sleeping Beauty; all alone in a tower over Christmas. Now, I’m going into the jungly brambles, to hack my way back to her. Yes, I’m working in bed. AGAIN. But it’s not exactly comfortable.

I wish you all the best fortune in the New Year. May it bring you happiness, wealth and lots and lots of discomfort.


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