Friday, August 19, 2011

The Joy of a Writing Habit

Gosh, it is lovely here.

To my left, a fountain blurbles merrily. All around plants grow in their garden boxes - lavender, tomateos, strawberries, chives - reaching into the sun. Bright glass candleholders hang from branches and sway in the breeze and the flies buzz lazily. It is exactly late summer.

Apples appeared at the Farmers Market today, and pears, the first autumn fruits. I found myself thinking that we needed to make time to hunt for wild blackberries in the next week or two, while they are still hanging plump on the vines.

I am all alone, and I love it. Tucked into one of my secret work spots, ending the week as I began it, with projects and paragraphs. Good food, hot coffee, and a contented attitude.

I read an article this week about the discipline needed to become a writer. Most of us know that the difference between writers and non-writers essentially comes down to practice and devotion. This teacher suggested that writing be considered a habit. He pointed out that we humans tend to do the tasks that are habit to us, the newspaper-reading, email-checking, toothbrushing kinds of daily events.

That clicked with me right away. This blog is my writing habit. I come to it first, when I begin to work, or I come to it when I get stuck or distracted, when I need a bit of a break. It's an invaluable tool for me. Sorry if it doesn't provide a high level of reader service value, but it does serve a purpose for my worklife.

Willful determination with Nonconcern for results is my main writing philosophy. It's a pure pleasure for me to write, and I return to it for that joy and contentment.

Next I'll expand that habit out to my fiction. I realized that I put fiction last because I have so many other paid projects each day. But there's no reason at all that I can't keep my current story open, and go to it first, each time I sit at my computer. If I write even a paragraph or two each time I work, stories will get written and revised in no time. Plus I'm in no hurry.

"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible."

—Vladimir Nabokov

No comments: