Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Wits End Way

Now this would be an interesting address.  How would you like to say you live at 1602 Wits End Way? Or some such number.   It's probably home to a lot of problem solvers like scientists and mathematicians.  I mean really, can't you just imagine Albert Einstein living here?  With hair like that, it's not a leap to imagine he spent some time at Wit's End a time or two!  Or maybe it had something to do with his
experiments with electricity. 

But maybe a lot of romance writers live here too.  Don't you think?  Writers with Einstein hairdos talking to themselves and putting the milk in the cupboard and the sugar in the refrigerator.  That's okay.  It's allowed here at Wits End Way. 

Yes, it's an odd place here at Wit's End.  Here, we have many garden paths that each look more promising to explore than the last one.  A person can get lost, quite happily for a time, running down the many possible scenarios like Alice chasing after the rabbit.  Or how about POV Lane over there?  You think you've been there before, but bring along a different character and you'll see the scenery in a whole new light.

But if the garden paths at Wits End are known for one thing, it's the number of dead ends.  Corners you can't imagine writing your way out of or thorny walls between the characters.  What can you expect?  This is Wits End Way, after all.

 This is where I imagine a lot of  Wits End residents (hey, let's call them Wits Enders!) are stuck, eternally lost at some point within the maze.  You'll find them in there somewhere -- hanging out in pretty corner having tea while sketching in the plans for a fountain or reading about topiary.  For research, of course.  It's not such a scary place to be stuck.  In fact, there are lots of spots like this, some beautiful and wild, and each part a branch of promising adventure.  Only the parts don't connect and this bothers the Wits End resident immensely.  Eventually, it bothers the Wits Ender so much that she might call for an airlift rescue and vow never to go inside the maze again.  Can you blame her?  It's crazy in there!

It's time to move to Straight Arrow Street with a nice strict home owners' association.  But wouldn't you know it,  they don't allow "your kind" there so you're out of luck.  Once a Wits Ender always a Wits Ender. 

Fortunately, Wits Enders are also known  for their breakthroughs.  They rescue themselves!

But how do they do that?  How do they even look at the obstacles they themselves created and stomach the thought of going over the same ground to find their way out? Where does the energy come from to pull the weeds or rake up the leaves to find the thread of the original golden path beneath?  How do they even regain the confidence to recognize the difference between weeds or the flowers that belong? 

When to give up on a previous maze or start a new one?  That's really what I want to know.  Because I think I accept that there will always be a maze.  It's never a straight shot.  But am I good enough to rescue myself?  I need some words of wisdom:


Hmm.  Well, Einstein, gives some lovely credit to the intuitive mind, and I think the answer to the breakthroughs at Wits End has something to do with knowing when to let the faithful servant --or a rational gardener -- clean up once in a while after the intuitive maze planner.  That is, if I can figure out the difference of who's who.

Recently I re-entered the maze and glared at a couple of my Wits End areas.  Well, that's not exactly true.  At first, I didn't open the document.  I just thought about "where did I go wrong," which, by the way, can be done quite easily by memory!  But a couple of things came to me as I looked over some old critiques and made notes of what I wanted.  I found myself writing scenes in a different POV and felt this helped me break through a wall or two in my old maze.  And nothing can beat that feeling of satisfaction that comes with connecting a few of those paths.

Maybe Wits End Way is more than a place, it's a way of working and living.  It's believing that you belong with those people at Wit's End who spend a lot of time on things that don't work before eventually finding out what does. 

What has you at your wit's end today?  Or what has had you at your wit's end in the past?  What has helped you break through?  Would you like to live at Wit's End Way?

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