Waiting for the Buts to Clear

Waiting for the Buts to Clear

“Being a writer means most of your time is spent waiting for a clear view.
Of the plot. Of the characters. Of the screen…”
Facebook Post, June 13, 2024


I posted the above tidbit on social media with a few photos of my cats’ butts/tails between me and the manuscript in progress. They have no shame nor concern for the parts of me or the laptop they stomp across on their way from here to there. Wherever they think there is.

Tails here.

Hind ends there.

They’re always on some sort of mission.

But for this post? One T or two?

I went back and forth all week long on how to spell the title. I think “Waiting for the Butts to Clear” is stinking hilarious, but it brings a certain… connotation. Maybe some untoward imagery, as well.

So I went with one T.

But that changes the meaning, yes?

And then it hit me. Hard.

When I sit down to write, I find myself waiting on the two Ts and the one T.  

I wait on cats to pass clear of the screen and take their double-T butts with them.

It’s best to wait it out. They’ll move their tails. At their own pace.  

No blood is shed in this waiting. If I hurry them or move them, I risk those razor beans. And since my peroxide is expired and I’m running low on Band-Aids… waiting is best.

I also find myself waiting for the one-T version to clear. All the buts.




And the longer I wait for a “but” to clear, another runs across my keyboard.  

Maybe you’ve experienced this too.

I need to write, but I’m feeling a little peckish and don’t have the right snacks.

I should write, but the refrigerator needs a good scrub. Then it can hold snacks.

I could write, but I have an appointment in an hour and don’t have time to dive in. I should have a little snack instead.


But, but, but, but, but.

A friend and I have discussed how real the resistance is—at times it’s palpable.

This happens when those “buts” are of a more serious variety, knocking silly productive procrastination excuses and schedule issues completely out of play. This level of resistance is lined with lead and fortified with concrete.


Where are the words? I can’t find the storylines. My characters are not behaving. Or I’m projecting onto them and now the plot makes no sense. Everything feels forced. Like I’m trying to push words through a concrete wall. One lined with lead.


These are the times Little Miss Muse goes quiet, no purple glitter floating about. Trudi sheds her concrete feathers, one thud at a time. Zeppo loses his appetite and the Biscoff goes untouched. The Jiggle Dragons are motionless.  

I should write, but my mind is spinning from hardships that have fallen on loved ones.

I should write, but my soul is numb from life’s curveballs and rip currents.

I should write, but my heart is breaking...

I’m frozen. I stare at the screen, waiting.


Waiting. For a clear view.

But life is muddy and murky. As long as the earth spins, the best we can hope for is a few microseconds of clarity. But mostly there’s the in-between.

The waiting.


I’ll write because my mind is spinning from hardships fallen on loved ones.

I’ll write because my soul is numb from life’s curveballs and rip currents.

I’ll write because my heart is breaking.

I’ll write because the words are all I have in this impenetrable in-between while I wait on those elusive clear-view glimpses.  

One word at a time until Little Miss Muse shows up with her outlandish purple glitter bombs.

One sentence after another until Trudi dons her new cape and twirls on her scooter.

Paragraph after paragraph until Zeppo dips his pink wing into the Biscoff and demands we blast Bob Segar and the Dragons begin their jiggle-and-jive above the keyboard.

I just need a little snack first…

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