Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do it every day

Geoff Dyer: “Do it every day. Make a habit of putting your observations into words and gradually this will become instinct.”

Several weeks ago, I wrote about my resistance to writing every day. And the truth is I do write every day. Every morning for years and years, I’ve been writing for 30-60 minutes in my journal. It’s mostly stream of consciousness, morning-pages meditation à la Julia Cameron. My day feels off without it, my day is centered with it. It’s a way to discharge feelings from the day before, record bits of events and ruminations, and if I ever chose to reread any of them, it probably holds some important clues to the patterns I’m stuck in. But it’s not creative work, not the writing work I want to be doing more and more of. It’s not keeping my characters and their struggles foremost in my mind as I go through my day.

Other advice says to carry a small notebook, jot down words, phrases, ideas for stories, for characters, for plots. Keep the writing going all day long. And I do this when I’m on writing retreat, when writing is my only life. Maybe I’m wanting writing to be my only life.

From Anne Enright: “Remember, if you sit at your desk for 15 or 20 years, every day, not counting weekends, it changes you. It just does. It may not improve your temper, but it fixes something else. It makes you more free.”

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