Whether it’s shorter form essay or blog writing, or your first story masterpiece of hundreds of thousands of words, it can sometimes feel like climbing a really steep mountain (with no trail, mind you) to get from beginning to end.
I’ve found myself procrastinating on writing my blogs (I know, having more than one could be part of the problem…;)) regularly and have been struggling to find a path up that mountain. Today, I was reminded by a great spirit of these times, Jean Hamilton-Fford, that one of the beauties of having no path is that you then have lots of choices in how you go up that writing mountain. The only important thing is to be willing and focused enough to stay in the writing mode of activity. No fair substituting knitting for writing… (drat!).
Jean said if I’m finding myself blocked about writing something to explore all the different ways I can be writing. I have plenty of unfinished projects, so it’s easy to see the options (copy for my tarot deck book, poems, blog posts on editing, spiritual stuff, etc.). If I’m just not feeling bloggable, I can work a poem or write up the description and message for a tarot card. Somehow just telling me that makes it easier to get started on…something writing.
And Jean’s admonition to use just the discipline to keep writing something, also reminded me of another writing lesson I learned from a writer’s group I helped with earlier this year: find your best writing ritual or context; what works for others may not work for you. We had several dedicated writers in the group who had invested a tidy sum in this coaching effort, but it was still difficult to stay focused on writing. The successful storytellers have found quite different ways to keep going. One stays connected to nature to stay motivated and writes almost every day. Another gets up and writes the same time every morning when others in the family are still asleep. A third found that she had to set aside retreat time away from home to get the words down; daily discipline didn’t work for her.
So, in the spirit of The Artist’s Way, but not necessarily every morning (set your own time pattern), write something. You’ll be done before you know it. And then you can email me to see about getting your masterpiece edited or designed. 🙂
From the Shepherd’s Satchel
This week I looked back at my list of blogs to read and found this wonderful missive from my fellow editor in the far north of Scotland, Sara Donaldson. Her wry reflections on the isolation of freelance editing work really struck home for me.
If you want to be a writer, there’s no better place to get advice than down under in Brisbane, Australia with Belinda Pollard. She’s blessedly consistent and talented in sharing all she’s learned about writing over the years. I enjoy every post. “Forget the Myths, and WRITE!” is particularly apropos to what I’ve written here in this post. Check it out, and while you’re at it, sign up for her newsletter and follow her on Twitter (if you tweet) so you don’t miss anything else. 🙂