It’s Writing Friday and I didn’t work on my novel today. Instead I finished reading an early copy of Sage Cohen’s The Productive Writer and getting some great ideas for beefing up my own writing life. Her book, being published as we speak by Writers Digest Books, is full of a lot of good ideas. Many of them aren’t new but they are extremely well stated and pulled together into a very cohesive reference guide. I recommend it if you’re a regular writer and especially if you’re moving into the marketing and publishing stages.
Reading Sage’s chapters made me begin to expand my idea of what constitutes writing time for me. Reading about the business of writing, reading great writers, working with prompts and writing exercises, taking classes, marketing my work, keeping my office clean and organized—all of these are essentials to the actual time spent writing. So are taking care of my soul and body through exercise, rest, reflection, quiet time. I got a good reminder that this is a sacred commitment, our creativity and how we express it, and should be treated as such.
You may remember that a couple of months ago I blogged about a list of ways to honor yourself as a writer. The one I chose was changing my apartment to better support my creative endeavors. To that end, I’ve really cleaned up my office. I gave away 10 shopping bags of stuff to friends and Goodwill and got just about everything off the floor. The cupboards are now neat and tidy and have extra space for stuff. I have a better system for what I don’t know yet what to do with. Most importantly, there’s an energy of spaciousness that has made both writing fiction and doing my paid editing and writing work much easier, gentler, calmer. Amazing!