It is easy to get into a rut, whether it comes to writing, cooking, or even wearing clothes. I do this all the time. Since I teach writing, I tend to say the same things over and over again, every semester. Since I functionally live alone, I eat the same things over and over, especially if they are easy, like baked chicken or spaghetti. And, in part because I went to Catholic school for eleven years, where I wore a uniform every day, I tend to fall into patterns of clothing.
Lately it was pointed out to me that, although nobody really cares what I say about writing or what I eat, what I wear will change people’s opinions of me, so I need to be much more intentional about it. One of the ways I have tried this is throwing out worn-out clothing even if it does have a few more months wear left in it and another way is what a friend calls “closet shopping”: digging around in the deep, dark recesses of my closet for things I haven’t worn in years. I’ve also dug around in my jewelry drawer so that I am not simply wearing the same necklace and earrings every single day.
I will say I feel better by doing this. And it made me wonder how it might work to help the rut I am in with my writing. Are there themes I used to write about more that I can revisit? Should I dig out one of my books of Hiroshige or Hokusai woodblock prints and find a new one to poetize about? Should I pick six words off my refrigerator and whack out a sestina?
And since I can’t figure out how to end this post, I will do what songs in the 1980s always did, when they kept repeating the refrain but turning the sound further and further down… I was going to do this by making the font progressively smaller, but wordpress won’t let me. Sigh.