I spent the afternoon relaxing, hanging out with P-Dubs. We picked out this quote for the week, then sat on the couch and contemplated how it pertained to me and my writing, took several phone calls, and eventually fell asleep for a cozy late winter nap under my warm and fuzzy corduroy throw.
At it’s root this quote from Sylvia Platt perfectly describes the writer’s condition. I write because I am. I write because there is something I need to say. I write because I breathe. “I write … because there is a voice within me that will not be still.”
That is why writers write.
More of a concern to me is why writers do not write. What is it that makes us not write and therefore not be our authentic selves? What is it that quiets our voices and need to say something through our writing? What is it that stops us from exhaling? What is it that drowns out the voice within us so we can almost not hear it anymore?
I used to say I could write anywhere. And in some ways that is still true – a coffee shop, a crowded train, at my desk, or sitting in an easy chair as long as I have pen and paper (or an electronic device) I can write. Yet, I find that I am writing less and less over the past few months. Point in case, as my dear friend Sam pointed out it has been two weeks since I posted. In my defense, one of those weeks I was sick with a virus that pretty much rendered me comatose – unwilling and unable to get up from the couch or bed to fetch myself a drink of water even when I could feel how dehydrated I was getting never mind me thinking about writing or posting.But what about the other week? And the other bouts of little or no writing? I am beginning to think I need to treat writing as a sacred ritual like some people practice prayer and meditation. I need to establish some writing routines. Do I like Hemingway, set aside a designated time? And no matter whether I write one word or a thousand words during that time period it is my writing block where I do not allow myself to do anything else – write or stare at the blank page are my only two options.
As I write this on my laptop, I am thinking it may also make sense not to always use my laptop – to write first drafts old school with pen and paper free of the distractions conjured up by my laptop. As I attempt to write, if I am not hooked up to the internet I will not be drawn away to check my social media sites, check my email to see if I’ve gotten any bids back from architects for the Salvation Army remodel, look at site plans for the redevelopment authority project or order balloons for the campaign kick-off event. Well all important items, I need to find a way of keeping them out of my writing space.
Do you have any writing rituals or routines? What are they and do they work for you? P-Dubs and I need all the help we can get.