Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3 Lessons On Writing Through Life

The Excuse Editor blog has been on a little unintentional break.  The blogging gurus and marketing mavens out there endlessly remind us that blog posts should be consistent. I agree. But stuff happens.

I also agree that writers need to continually write in order to improve and flourish.  Not many writers would disagree with that idea. But again. Stuff happens.

So. Stuff happened and I haven’t been blogging and I haven’t been writing (much). I’ve only sporadically been Facebooking, and my tweets are as rare as the tinamou.  (I was able to send out the monthly contest listing, though!)

The best way to get started again is to begin.  And that’s lesson #1 for today:

You gotta start somewhere.

Whether you are making your first attempt at writing, or you have been stopping and starting for years, when you decide to write, create a starting line wherever you find yourself at that moment. Now, runners at a starting line don’t stare, contemplate, and plan when they reach the line, they take action—they run!

If a runner started to analyze and fret over all of the obstacles she overcame to get there, she may start to second guess her ability and never get the chance to perform at all.

If your mind is cluttered with your history of non-writing, rejection, or lack of motivation, clear the space for your starting line. The only way to keep yourself from being buried in your own creative clutter-think is to take the first step away from it. Take action and GO!

Once you’ve started, you may be lucky enough to make it to your first finish line with no problems. But eventually, if you are human, you are going to stumble again. Because sometimes that’s how life works. It throws rocks, boulders, and mountains in your path—just to see if you are paying attention. So, lesson #2:

There’s always gonna be something

Don’t wish for endless weeks of undisturbed time for your writing. It’s futile.  PLANNING for undisturbed time is a little more realistic. Either way, accept the fact that there will be times that all of your planning won’t matter one little bit. We have plenty of drama seeping into our lives that we just can’t ignore.  If you spend the uneventful days stepping up to your starting line and taking action, you will be able to handle the unexpected. Don’t beat yourself up over uncontrollable events. Don’t wish them away, either. It’s all part of this wild and crazy ride we call life. Without all that stuff, what would we have to wonder about, to try and understand, and, most importantly, WRITE about?

Granted, you may not want to write about it NOW. Or maybe you do—Lesson #3:

Your heart will guide you

It’s easy enough to let the little things keep us from writing sometimes, Facebook, dinner, your cat…But when a major life change sweeps in, your creative spirit may take a beating.  Someone close to you dies, you are going through a divorce, you lose your job—these types of curves are tough to straighten out.  You have to keep wobbling down the road the best you can. If your muse flat refuses to join you when you have convinced yourself you are ready, maybe that should tell you something. Be gentle with yourself.
You may decide to write as you are living the pain. If there’s ever a time when you need to ignore the inner editor, this is it. This is writing for you. Not for publication, not for your writing group—when it is being written it is only for you. Give yourself the pages you need to understand it all. If you want to share, edit, extend or delete it later that is up to you.

The pain may pass, or it may change, either way you will come to a place when you want to get back to (or begin) the project you were drawn to before the latest event happened.  Be quiet and listen. If you hear a faint beating of beginnings, review lesson #1, and GO!


1 comment:

  1. You are so right, there's always going to be something that impedes our progress. So I love the way you put it, take action and go! Be intentional. Set priorities. But in those really really tough places, where it seems we'll never be able to come back and start all over again, I think it behooves us to remind ourselves that we are writers. The spark will burn again, because that's who we are...

    Sounds like you've been through some hard difficulties. But welcome back :-)


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