Loose Ends

Writing Life

Rena Willis


Woman working with loose ends of yarn. Loose Ends. Writer’s Life. On Writing. Rena Willis.
Photo by Koto Kyoto on Unsplash

I slump behind my keyboard, staring at a blank page, begging for the words to appear. I whisper a prayer to the Muses. Inspiration, creativity, mastery, greatness. These are the intangibles — the magic — the whiff of something unidentifiable, just beyond naming.

How do I conjure that?

It is late at night, the hint of magic creeping in through my fingers, words tumbling onto the page, and my thoughts like a mudbath, messy. Smooth and new and burnished and heavy and glossy and deep, the words sing to me from the page.

The sun rises. I must edit, revise, polish the words to perfection. But what do I do with all the words I don’t use?

Thoughts written into existence; plucked from my mind, and then ripped off the page. This one doesn’t fit. That one isn’t right. There is no room for them.

I shuffle them into a folder. Cut and paste, haphazard. Loose ends. A purgatory for words. They linger, clogging the pages, tools waiting to be of use.

I am a writer. I struggle with the demons of inspiration, isolation, self-doubt, and self-criticism. Yet I gather the strands of these words, these loose ends, into a ball and hold them tight. I wait to unravel them and rub their illusions onto the page.

I am not alone in my journey. I am a mere apprentice, surrounded by other apprentices, reaching for that something that is just beyond my grasp. I have more questions than answers.

I will continue to hone my skills and keep my loose ends. Of course, it never hurts to pray to the Muses for a bit of magic too!



Rena Willis

Writer & Educator — one midlife crisis away from a bestseller.