October 31, 2023 Christi

This Writing Train Chugging Along

Wildwrite* 15 minutes

(typed from handwriting)

It’s hard, abandoning my agenda for the page. Not knowing how it will all shake down.

I notice—whew! Thoughts of to-dos bursting in my thoughts like fireballs. How does one ignore a fireball?

I notice how simple this practice is, how good for my soul. It feels completely new and I realize I’ve been resisting actually doing it for some time now. Much easier to save for the class, do when I absolutely have to—

My train of thought goes off the rails** oh so easily. And when it is finally adjusted upright, all the kinks in the train car links worked out, this toy train balks at the crossings where it has to switch tracks—roll into the hands of another force.

Dream Kid. Big, giddy, dreamy-eyed. How do I know she’s not demented? How can I be sure she knows what she’s doing? I’ll just sit here looking shiny if you don’t mind, my little cowcatcher pointing down a track I’m scared to take. I’ll blow my whistle, look loud, look busy. But it’s a different country that direction—wild, uneven, dipping and twisting through ravines and around a mountain. I can’t know the bridge will hold.

If I stay where I am, I can feel oh so comfortable. I’ll check my email—maybe there will be an acceptance, a yes. Surely there will be some clear, even track that requires little fuel, few turns, low risk.

The wilds are calling.

A new way is calling. That says leave the drab, citified, normalized way. I want to do things—edit forever, muse over this verb, over that, clean my kitchen, clean my kitchen. Get my office together. Get my whole world together one safe paper clip at a time, and smile contentedly from the home station, a becalmed attendant in a pressed uniform who never goes anywhere. Let me stop pretending this is adventure.

Time to go.


*Wildwriting is 15 minutes of writing without outlining, drafting, forethought, or attention to “writing rules.” This wildwriting was not edited except I added a missing “e.” Note: publishable writing requires editing. This is not publishable writing and yet worthy in itself. Wildwriting prioritizes courage over refinement.

**I’m a train engineer for Halloween.

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