Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rinse the block away with Writer's Tears

I have a theory, when it comes to many things that seem difficult, distasteful, or uninspiring:  if you don't think you can do it, or you're not sure you can do it or really want to do it, try to do a little of it.

Don't like the look or smell of that meal your host prepared?  Try a bite.
Too tired to run the 5 miles you promised yourself?  Try one, or walk.
Got asked to dance and you'd rather not?  Try it -- just not to a long song.
Feels like 50-gazillion math questions for homework?  Try the first one of each set.
House a complete disaster?  Try just cleaning out the kitchen sink.

You never know... you might get into a rhythm and next thing you know, you're on a roll.

Have a 20-page paper to write for that masters course you're taking and the due date is a week away and you're still not entirely sure what you're writing about even though you've produced about 50 pages of false starts, random ramblings, and collections of potentially relevant quotations, and feel like you can't even write at all and what the heck are you doing in grad school anyhow and as if there's more of this to do next term and why can't it all just be done and you really really really need to stop overthinking the whole thing and just get to it and write the damn paper?  No?  Hmm. Well, were I, hypothetically, of course, to find myself in such a situation, I would.... I would... well, I'd go get this out of my cupboard in the basement where it has been waiting for such an occasion:

And then I would pour myself a glass, take a deep breath, and

Just.  Write.  Something.  A blog entry will do. 

One step at a time.  I'm sure you've seen the memes... you know, like the scene of the guy standing on some mountain peak with a Lao-tzu quote overlayed in an inspiring font:?  Like, for example, this one -- which I "borrowed" from, which was probably stolen from somewhere else anyhow.  This is the internet, after all.

Sometimes, those first steps are light and bouncy, full of hope and expectation.  Other times, they're... well, not.

And that's why we have whiskey.  And blogs.  And blogs about whiskey.

This one is gentle on the nose, and sweet-smelling, like honey or vanilla butterscotch toffee enjoyed beside a vase of freshly-picked wildflowers in a room with a freshly-hewn oak floor.

The initial taste is light, refreshing, the sweetness prevails -- honey and vanilla, pears and bananas perhaps, maybe a little light nuttiness... then the taste unfolds like a blooming flower moving through a wiff of citrus towards a wave of rich warm oak.  Although I tend to have a particular affinity for smoke, peat, leather and spice in my scotches, this Irish pot-still is entirely delightful and enjoyable.  It is smooth and gentle, but does not lack character.

It does seem to have gotten my fingers and mind warmed up for writing that paper...

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