Writing like an Ant

The other day I was sitting on our front porch enjoying the mild evening weather, and I began to watch the labors of single ant, hard at work on the wide cement railing. As far as I could tell, his primary task was to move wood shavings from the base of the column where they were piled to somewhere in the flowerbed about eight feet below. To do this, he would pick up a load, jog to edge of the railing, and toss the wood shavings off the precipice. He repeated this over and over, once piece at time, for the 15 minutes I sat watching him, and he was still at it several hours later when I returned.

Close-up photo of an ant

Sitting here at Cafenation this morning, I know there is a moral to be learned from the efforts of this little ant, some inspiration I should gain from his single-minded diligence. I have my own pile of drafts and ideas for my dissertation sitting here in front of me. Perhaps all I need to do for a couple of hours is find a few things to throw off the precipice. Don’t worry about where it’s all going–just get stuff and chuck it. Don’t even wonder why you’re hurling the stuff. Just enjoy the work of grabbing armloads of ideas and words and throwing them over the edge. I’m pretty sure the dissertation’s down there somewhere, so I’ll just trust that I’ll be able to find everything when I get there.


2 responses to “Writing like an Ant”

  1.  Avatar

    I’m sure it’s there too, Tim, but I can’t tell you how many disaster stories I’ve heard about people who should know better…