Sunday, February 24, 2013

The value of having to set an example

I've long known that when I want to learn something, offering a class in it is a good way for me to figure things out. The same is proving true of the retreat I'm currently on. Since I finished Sober Play at the first of the year, I've had trouble getting back into daily writing. And by that, I mean writing new material. I've spent plenty of time in the last two months working on my writing: I've been editing, publishing, and marketing so I'm in the writing, but I haven't been getting up early enough to spend a half hour or more writing something new--new stories, new poems, a new novel.

Part of the stuckness is around what to work on. Each time I've finished something before, I've known exactly what was coming next. I've kind of figured that was how I worked. But this time, I've got 8-10 ideas and none of them is certain. None of them says: Pick me! Pick me! And I've been hesitating and waiting for that to happen.

Now I'm leading a writing retreat in rural Tennessee outside of Nashville and I'm encouraging people to keep writing and work through blocks and just not worry what's going to come of it, and I'm having to take my own advice. So this morning I got up and made tea and went right to the computer and plunged into one of the ideas. I've had to give up the certainty and waiting and just write my way through it. And it feels good.