distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

So here I am sitting in my morning writing spot. Sure, the tables were rearranged AGAIN and, sure, the new arrangement now has even fewer tables near outlets (question: do they not like writers coming here? I’ve noticed the group of screenwriters hasn’t been here in a while… Have they all sold their scripts, or have they found other, better places?), but I snagged a table and here I am sitting in it. I have an hour left before I have to leave for the subway. A whole hour. I’m feeling down, but I’m drawing myself up. It will be better today, I am saying, today will be better. I decide to get down my current ideas, the ones I’m warring against. Jade Park has inspired me yet again. So I begin. I am about to do it. Yes. This is it. Then, randomly, I happen to glance down and notice that the zipper on my pants is hanging open. Um, okay. I surreptitiously try to pull up the zipper—and realize it’s already up. It’s off-track, gaping open, completely broken. Which means I have to go home before getting on the subway, miraculously find a pair of clean pants that fit, and then go back out. Probably I lost at most 20 minutes. Nothing to worry about, right? Maybe for a normal person. But me—stupid me—if I know I have to do something in the near future I just cannot relax until that moment. I think about it. I look at the clock every thirty seconds. I can’t focus when I know I won’t be able to focus an hour from now. The time has been tainted by the future annoyance and I can’t get it back. It’s so frustrating. So I have to go home and change my pants, so what! I am here now, aren’t I? I am in a table near an outlet, aren’t I? But how can I sit comfortably in these pants? I cannot write a good sentence in these pants. I’m exposed. I’m an obvious mess; anyone could see if they looked. I am uncomfortable in my own skin. What literary brilliance can feel safe to emerge when you have broken your zipper? I mean, I didn’t expect any literary brilliance anyway, but surely even that slim possibility is RUINED while I am wearing these pants!

I’m taking a moment.

Perhaps… just perhaps… this is an excuse to keep from writing. Today a zipper; tomorrow a piano could fall on my head. I must write through broken zippers and all other catastrophic events—for instance, zombies. But first I must go home and change my pants.


3 responses to “Zipper”

  1. Sometimes the fear of writing something awful, even though it could very well be brilliant to someone else who reads, allows these distractions to keep us from writing and it feels good to let those distractions stop us- you avoid failure inside yourself that way…not to mention criticism from others.

    but my piece of advice- not that you asked or should I even offer but here it goes…

    fight through the distractions even if what you turn out is total crap. that piece of total crap can be shaped later on, added to, or depleted in some ways to become a master piece!

    Great post nova

  2. Thinking on it, I have never met a post of yours I didn’t like. I understand this right down to the zipper, seriously.

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