Monday, January 22, 2007

Writing is Like Parallel Parking

Sometimes the thoughts that wake me in the middle of the night are downright brilliant. (I’m still mourning the obvious bestseller plot line the Lord gave me in the wee hours a few months ago. So memorable I didn’t bother turning on the light to write it down. Lapse of judgment. No amount of prayer-begging has restored my cerebral database.) Other times, I’m befuddled and fear my normally “Life in Mitford” brain is moonlighting (Get it? Middle of the night?) on the Sci Fi channel.

Last night, the sleep-jarring thought was that writing is much like parallel parking. You might wonder how. I certainly did when the message reached my subconscious or wherever it is my brain goes when I’m not using it for emailing or creating yet one more spectacular gourmet meal from hamburger or boneless chicken breasts.

How is writing like parallel parking?

  • Sometimes you’d rather drive around the block four times than do the hard part, like writing a synopsis.
  • You feel that the WIP you’re driving—or the one that’s driving you—is a little larger than the space left for you between two other author’s vehicles.
  • One would think that by this time in your career, you’d have earned reserved parking and wouldn’t have to go through the neck-straining maneuverings to parallel park.
  • Not until you pull up close to it do you realize that the free parking spot you finally located requires a special sticker you don’t have.
  • You’re down to your last dime. But—glory be!—a few blocks down the street from your destination you found a parking spot with time yet on the meter. You pull a little ahead, just like your high school driving instructor instructed, check your rear view mirror, put the car in reverse and prepare to ease your back end into the spot. But before you can, a VW pulls in front-wise and takes the prime location. Not to worry. A block away is another and—glory be!—there’s time on the meter! You do the whole pull ahead mirror reverse ease thing again, this time successfully. Your heart races with the exhilaration of victory. You jump out of your car, ready to walk the several blocks back to your appointment location. As you press the “lock” button on your car remote and hear the gentle thunk of engagement, you hear another sound. Click. The meter expired.

Now, where did I put the email address of that therapist who specializes in PWT? Post Writer Trauma?


Candice Speare said...

Cynthia, when you find that PWT therapist, I think my husband would pay double the fee for me to be treated. Candice

Kaye Dacus said...

Cynthia--I am addicted to analogies--and I love this one. Too appropos!

Kristy Dykes said...

You made me laugh. Great post!

eileen said...

Oh brother.......and I am terrible at parallel parking. Sigh! Back to the driving..errr, drawing board.