In the last week, I’ve been writing a lot (not yet for public reading). Because I’m dealing with health issues, I decided to allow myself to write, and I do mean that word “allow.” I’ve read about famous authors who write meticulously for a certain amount of time each day. Since they write for a living, they can schedule the time daily. However, I do other things to pay my bills and I write for other reasons. Oh, I’d love to pay my bills with writing, but that’s a very rare lifestyle. Even though I earn money through my writing, I know that is a truthful statement. As Stephen King said a lot of great authors are teaching writing classes.
I used to say that I arrived late in life at writing as a craft, but honestly, I didn’t. The accurate statement is that I arrived late in life to writing what I wanted to write. I write to tell stories, share information, ponder a problem, or explain a subject. Truthfully, much of the time, I also write for the fun of crafting words together. But, typically I write to meet a deadline.
So, rarely do I give myself permission to lose myself in the craft of writing. Writing is like embroidery for thoughts, painting with phrases. The best writing can feel like sitting around the crackling campfire or taking a walk through the woods on a gorgeous autumn day. It can take us to a place of pain or laughter, pensiveness or clarity.
As to “allowing” the writing time, that’s when I experiment. Symbolically, I tap into the imagination, sharpen the knife, whittle the pencil, mix the paints, untangle the threads, and seek out those places. I don’t worry about where the writing takes me or how long it takes to arrive there. When I write for the fun of seeing where the words lead me, I don’t notice the passage of time. In fact, several times this past week, I’ve been surprised when I realized I was sitting in the dark because the sun had gone down and no lights were turned on in the house.
Therefore, I welcome the New Year. Yes, I have a cold and a tooth problem, but I also have the joy of writing! The tooth will be fixed and the cold will be gone soon. For good or ill, the writing will remain.
Welcome 2011. My thanks to you for reading.