So I opened a blank word document this week to begin a new story. As soon as I did, I felt this resistance. Not procrastination. I’d already done the dishes and vacuumed and made tea. That’s procrastination.
No, what I felt was this closed mouth stubborn refusal to open up to the characters knocking at my door. If I didn’t open the door, then they couldn’t come in and inhabit my being for as long as they needed to in order to become fully realized.
You see, once I begin, I am honor bound, no, duty bound to give in completely to the story’s creation. I resist because as long as I hold back I won’t have to feel these character’s feelings. I won’t have to wrestle with my own inadequacies in bringing them alive. I resist because once I bring them into the world, I will have to share them. They will get inspected. Turned over. Looked at. Right now they are perfect in my head. I love their whole story. They are nimble and clever and so honest.
I stare at the blank screen and the blinking cursor. I swear that I am sitting on my porch. I swear there is no music playing. I swear that I can hear John Hagan’s pulsing cello and Lyle Lovett’s reedy voice singing, “You can’t resist it.”
I can’t. I begin.