Writers on Writing #10: Stacy Harrison
Someone once asked me if I write for fun.
The tinny rattle and hollow clunk of ideas in my over-packed trunk of a brain. Studying veneered ceiling fan blades and greenish backlit valances at four a.m. Scribbled fragments and metaphors on scraps in pockets, drawers, glove compartments, my bra, the dryer lint screen.
Writing is fun like ironing is fun. Like polishing silverware or shoveling wet snow is fun. Like hangovers are fun. Like tetanus shots are fun. Like cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner is fun. Like checking the expiration dates on canned goods or assigning 300 guests to tables at a wedding reception is fun. Like childbirth is fun.
If fun is removing fat wood ticks from a dog in June, then sure I write for fun.
My brother bench presses and flips 300 pound tires for fun. My sister makes recycled wool mittens adorned with hearts and stars. My mom plants peonies and scours sale carousels at Coldwater Creek. My dad sings Gloria Estefan while replacing wheel bearings and fixing tranny lines. My grandmother watches Wheel of Fortune and knits cabled afghans. My husband shoots guns. Hell, my grandfather trims his nose hairs.
If fun is a hangnail, a mosquito in your tent, a Phil Collins tune stuck in your head, then writing is fun. If fun is bare legs after weed-whacking poison ivy, then writing is a damn carnival. If fun is second-guessing, tweaking, agonizing, scrapping, cringing, rearranging, rewording, revisiting, I must be having a ball.
What’s that you say? You think it’s fun to write?
I say you’ve not had the disease, the fever. The boil, the clutter, the ache, the howl, the sunburn, the pungence. The discord. Labyrinth. Nirvana. Afterglow.
The antidote and the venom, all in one.
Maybe the fun will begin when the writing ends. It never ends.