Writing a book looks beautiful -paper mounds, highlighters, a rainbow of pens, coffee mugs, plates of crumbs. It looks beautiful and messy with all the notes and rewrites and bits and pieces of novel thoughts -it looks like life. And, like life it can feels clunky, ill-fitting, slow and frustrated.
There's that first draft: pure shit. It's heavy, mundane, drudgery. It's embarrassing, terrifying really. It's the worst thing you've ever gone and written, makes you wonder what ever possessed you to tackle this sort of task, shakes your confidence to its core and begs you to just give up already.
Then there's all the drafts after that: ombre drafts. Each version gaining a little bit more clarity, looking more lacy and beautiful, no longer sack-dress. Each version blossoming slowly, but definitely from ugly duckling to gorgeous hawk-bird, awesome in feather and flight.
And one day, there's an end. A book that is read -if you're lucky by someone more than your mother and best friend- and cherished and maybe even quoted in a beautiful graphic on Pinterest.
Writing a book is a growing process that looks exhausting, soul-sucking, and, yet, rewarding -like life. It's hard, it's easy, it's charming, it's devastating. And like life, it's individual with no two experiences identical but with so many moments communal.
My process has been silent. The radio is on, but He's not transmitting. And in the beginning when he wouldn't talk the silence terrified me. It left me sad, pouty, purely indignant of His presence because I want His words to shower down upon me.
I mentioned my disdain for silence once. How it makes me desperate and honest and vulnerable and afraid. I feel like He's sitting, looking, taking it all in and I don't want to know His conclusion. Because I've convinced myself that in noise, He won't see my flaws and mistakes. In noise I can distract myself from His face when He sees my competitive tendencies, my judgmental words, my poisonous jealousy.
But like that book that's best read, contemplated, and edited in the kind of deafening silence that burns in your ears, so am I. His concentration isn't foiled by noise, but my listening is. His ability to see me for the hot mess that I am isn't mussed up in the airwaves, but my reception of His loving, constructive tone disappears.
The comfort of noise is ignorance. Radio silence is bare, stripping me of distraction, requiring my patience. Hope, erasure and reworking, red ink, notes in the margins, and sentence long mark outs. The process of perfecting happens quietly, painstakingly. It's exhausting, soul-sucking, and, yet, rewarding.
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Thank you to my muse and the inspiration behind this piece: none other than the gorgeous (inside and out) Juliette -who is better than Romeo's.