There’s a spider who lives right outside our front door. We’ll call him Fred. And every morning we have to apologize to Fred as we dismantle his web because he has yet again woven it from the hedge on one side of the front path clear across to the other.
On occasion, in our usual desperate dash out of the door, we forget his presence and end up flapping around in a crazy dance, slapping our cheeks and flicking our hair around trying to dislodge Fred who we imagine is crawling up our necks.
But he just watches us from where he hangs by a thread to the destroyed remains of his nightly work.
What on earth does this have to do with writing?
Well, the thing is, he’s become a bit of a guru to me.
Mainly because he doesn’t charge much. But also because after every destruction, he takes a deep breath and he reweaves his web.
So I admire his resilience. (While also questioning the number of brain cells in his head. Why doesn’t he just reweave somewhere else, someplace that doesn’t become a runway 8 o’clock every weekday morning?)
But I do try and keep him in mind whenever I waver in my writing. Because some days I end up deleting more than I write, dismantling my own web with great efficiency. And on those days when I look at the mess I call my latest novel and wish to throw up my hands in despair I try and take a deep breath and think, What would Fred do?
And I gamely gather the broken gauze of my web and start at the beginning, waving my bottom around and producing just a little more silk.
photo by photoholic1 (flickr)