Saturday, August 14, 2010

Writing in the "Slow Zone"

"Like an 'L' train."

That was my response when my husband asked the other day how I felt about my progress on The Letter Jar project.

Anyone who has ridden the Chicago L, even just a few times, is likely familiar with a "slow zone"--the train is moving along at a nice clip when it suddenly slows down due to track conditions. You creep along for a while, and then you're off again.

Experienced riders understand that there's never any doubt that the train will reach its intended destination. They know the system schedule is built with the slow downs in mind--if the schedule says a train will arrive in Oak Park at 6:03 a.m., it will, regardless of how many slow zones exist along the way.

I feel like I'm in my own "slow zone" when it comes to The Letter Jar right now. It's not that I feel like I won't reach my destination, but my current level of energy--and subsequently, the pace of my writing--is in stark contrast to when I began, or even just a few weeks ago. Letters take a little bit longer to compose, languish on my desk a few more days before making it to the post office.

But I'm not worried. Far from making me question my commitment or forcing me to think about giving up, this more leisurely pace is a welcome reminder of how life itself unfolds--peaks and valleys, cacophony and quiet. Moreover, writing letters brings a kind of great joy I refuse to sacrifice by pursuing some artificial production goal.

ENVY AND INSPIRATION: The Missive Maven wrote recently about her new writing desk, tucked away in her lovely sun room. I'm envious--our house doesn't allow for that kind of expansiveness--but also inspired. I tend to do my writing curled up in my recliner with a cup of coffee, but perhaps getting imaginative about creating another space will see the end of this particular slow zone.


The Missive Maven said...

Thank you for the link and the compliments!

As for a slow zone, all long-term letter-writers experience them. Like the L train, you'll keep on moving and speed up when you need to.

Victoria Ceretto-Slotto said...

Oh, I love the idea of a letter jar. Thanks for sharing. Even one letter a week would be something.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. You're doing great!