The first rule is to write about what matters most

This is one of those weeks when I’ve had to apply “Rule 21.”
It’s a directive I invented—and one I have to fall back on now and then when it appears I have nothing to write about.
It is a flexible rule that varies in regulation and content, depending on what I’m looking for as a catalyst to my creative block.
“Rule 21” is meant to put me on a slope, where I am at the top looking down upon the thing I must write about.
If I have to deploy “Rule 21,” it means the incline to the thing is going to involve a twisty and slow cross-country ski to the finish line—and will not be a speedy downhill slalom.
However, it has not been a week in which the Universe has conspired against me in terms of writing. That never happens. There always is something to write about.
Sometimes I just have trouble seeing the story between the everyday ordinary pages of my life.
For me, “Rule 21” is sort of like what a dog does when it comes upon an area where it wants to lie down. Around and around in circles the dog kneads the spot in customary fashion to improve the place where it will spend considerable time.
Or what author Sarah Ban Breathnach believes about exercise and spirit: “I walk regularly for my soul and my body tags along.”
I am a better thinker and creator when my body is busy doing something else. So when the write tank appears empty, I clean house, wash dishes, vacuum, fold laundry, bake, eat, and take the long way home.
And today, my house is very tidy, there’s not a dirty spoon in sight, all my clothes are clean, the cookie tin is brimming, I’ve seen the countryside from here to the west end of the district twice in the last 12 hours, and I’ve consumed enough chocolate almonds to sustain me until June.
And I shake my head because it’s not like the door to my imagination ever closes. There’s “applied” Beth, who carries around a little brown book of scribbled thoughts, and there’s “radio frequency” Beth, with a storage cloud of ideas in the recesses of her brain.
But sometimes all those notes don’t add up to much of anything I can use to make this column longer than the 407-word count in which I have just blathered.
Maybe it’s a slump thing. Maybe it’s a “missing my husband very much” thing.
On the cusp of the coming spring, I am a bit self-absorbed in the fact that in that last 365 days, I have seen Peter for none but 30 of them. Oh, the hard facts of my soulmate having to work away from home.
I am one of the strongest, most independent woman creatures I know. Hands down. But I sure could use a hug and a kiss, and some long lost company from the man I love.
I read somewhere—and I believe—that souls attract to those who are on the same frequency, have similar lessons and needs, and who often reflect their own issues to help them understand and cope.
They say souls need to be with those of like mind or like frequency, and that when you move out of frequency or out of sync, life becomes static and does not flow.
Today this is the headspace I’m in. Tomorrow it will be another story.
Best-selling author Neil Gaiman penned good advice: “Write. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.”
This is my first rule.

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