by Carol Sliwka
Writing is like a liquid. It can flow over you or drown you. When it flows, it can engulf you in the rhythm of the waves and the tide, with ideas washing over you, refreshing you, carrying you to new places. As a liquid, it can be a cool drink to soothe you on a hot day or calm you like a hot drink in the midst of winter.
But if you aren't careful, it can drown you with expectations and frustration. Like the ocean threatens to crash down upon you, writing can overwhelm you and crush you beneath the weight of words. As a cold liquid dashed upon your face, writing can bring you up short and shock you into speechlessness.
Sometimes the liquid backs up, unable to break through the stopped-up drain filled with discarded phrases, passive verbs, and disjointed sentences. It sits there growing stagnant and brackish until a bolt of inspiration serves as Drano Max to get things moving again.