Friday, August 23, 2013

what I have learned this summer about writing

I am giving myself time to let my thirty-six recollections simmer. This process of recollecting joy is gratifying and has given me a lot to think about this week.

I have often thought about the need for setting up ebenezers, (Practical Theology for Women) for remembrance of ways that God has met me, provided for or comforted me at specific times in my life. I think of these recollections as a way for me to do that. As a result, I find myself wandering down paths I have not traveled in a long time, to some of the places where I first sensed the love of Jesus.  I want to take my time.

So I am interrupting my series of recollections to write about writing.

This is what I have learned this summer about writing:

1. I require time to write. Uninterrupted time. Lots of it. This is the greatest challenge of course but when I can get it, it is heaven.

2. Live in the season. The common advice I seem to hear on writing is to push through, write write write, and I agree, but I would offer this levity: Write when you can, but be present in your life when you can't. Pay attention to life. Most words happen while doing the dishes anyway.

3. Blank paper. The very best solution for journaling/ free writing/ list making/ mind mapping/ note taking- reams of cheap copy paper. Old one sided paper works great. I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with systems. I like to write with pen, so doing everything on the computer doesn't work. Copy paper is the solution for all of this. It is cheap; I'm not afraid of scribbling on a nice journal. It is always nearby. It can be folded up and stuck in a pocket. I can keep all of my random sheets of paper in stacks and sort it eventually, tossing anything I don't need to keep and storing the rest in a three-ring binder. This is such a simple thing but it really has set me free to write fast and sloppy, and not be looking around for the correct notebook.

4. Community For the past six months or so I have been attending a fiction writer's workshop and I love, love, love, (love) it. The only drawback is that it only meets once a month. I have found it to be the perfect balance of encouragement and critique, on a very professional but not intimidating level, and has allowed me to meet some really wonderful writers. So thankful for this.

5. Without Fear As with all creating or life- we need to be able to do it without fear of failure or imperfection.

6. The Creative Personality Creative friends, you must read this from Psychology Today. Fascinating, and affirming.

7. The biggest thing I am learning to do for myself as a writer is to give myself the space and permission to write, which always involves saying no to someone or something else.

8. Writing is so much fun.

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