Hanging Out in the Middle

What is it about the creative process? This morning I am struggling with an article I’m writing on hazardous waste recycling. The topic intrigued me when I first heard about local efforts by the tri-county  program in our area that allows households, businesses and agricultural producers to recycle pesticides, oil paint and other toxic stuff  free of charge.  I even tucked a few of my own bottles of the yucky sutff into my trunk when I headed out to take photos of the collection event for the article. 

An impressive gathering. More than 60 cars were served in the f irst 1 1/2 hours.  

Yet, now with an okay draft of the article on my hands, the intital excitement about the topic  has waned.

What is it about the middle of projects?  Novels, closet decluttering, article writing.  There always comes a time when I find myself mid-project and  wonder what in the world I am doing and how I can possibly get it finished. 

I imagine that’s what the folks at these hazardous waste collection events are thinking when they standing knee deep in bottles of stuff that they asked for and now have to figure out what to do with.  Like those recyclers, my article has the components that I need to create  something valuable. I have the data, the quotes,  a decent opening paragraph.  

What middles teach me is that the next step has nothing to do with moving  the words on the page  or the old pants in the back of the closet that I no longer fit into.  The next step is in my mind.  Whether reusing or recycling words or the paper they are printed on, I must reimagine my origianl idea.  Plastic bags can become park benches, an old window can become a cold frame roof for my lettuce seedlings. Reimagined, recycled glass bottles pave the road to our county landfill.  But only because someone saw the value of what is there and recreated it as something new.

It is the same with ideas.  It is not easy to hang out in the landfill of words and ideas trying to see above the garbage. Yet, it is in staying “in the middle”  that I am forced to let go of what I expect my writing/closet/life  to be when I began it so it can become what it needs to be now. 

 Some call it “the tyranny of the original idea”. I call it part of the process.

 Where is your life are you hanging out in the middle?   


2 Responses to “Hanging Out in the Middle”

  1. Pamela Says:

    This was profound. The Middle. I have trouble completing things and this is why. And now, I have the answer. Those who do, re-imagine; they remind themselves of what the end intention was about. I found you accidently while searching the Internet for how to query a profile idea to a publication. I am a frequently locally published author who usually gets assignments for profiles. I had an idea for another publication, and was not sure how to query it. Instead, I found an answer to a life “fault” of mine. God and life is good! Really good post! Thx Lori. Oh, and by the way, I hate my name. I have “imagined” changing it for years, but I “mid-life”…

    • Lori Says:

      Pamela, Glad to hear from a fellow profile writer. I regularly get caught in the middle and have to roam around there a bit until I remember how to find the path forward. Midlife, mid article, mid thought. There I have plenty of opportunities to practice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: