This graphic just made me laugh out loud. Think of it—Shakespeare actually saying something so damn funny. But you know what? After taking July off to write (and penning nearly 60,000 words), I have no doubt he uttered this statement. Exactly. I can see William—Bill—now, rockin’ back in his leather chair, boots heavy atop his mahogany desk, tossing down the final pages of a sonnet saying, “Ain’t nothing, yo.” Of course that’s how it went down. Cuz this shit’s true.
You carve out time for your writing, you stick butt in chair/back propped up against pillows, and things happen. Surprising things. Magic things. Regardless of all the painstaking, diligent crafting going on (sometimes making you feel dim witted/perfectionistic/narcissistic/indulgent), words flow. Ideas abound. Pages take form and multiply, often mysteriously.
This shit writes itself. Shakespeare was right!
The biggest challenge I’ve had is slowing it all down, stopping the words long enough to eat, socialize, have a life. Well, a life other than a writer’s life. Because being a boring travel companion through Alaska was not my intent. I wanted to marvel at a few glaciers, watch a mama and baby Eagle perched in a tree, curl up by a fire or two, savor our meals without wolfing them down. Fortunately, Larry and his best friend went fishing each morning, leaving me free to keep up July’s writing practice. And the work just kept getting more addictive into August.
I came home refreshed, relieved, and no longer aching to get the words down with such frenetic insistence (after all, reams of them had been birthed). I had space for other stories; Arrowhead and Carmel retreats were a welcomed respite to make way for others. I’d filled the well, drunk from it, and was refreshed to the point of curiosity once more. (You can’t see them in this shot, but here we are watching 40 dolphins do their summer thang a few weeks ago, off the Carmel coast. Wow.)
Slowing down brought more (and earlier) sleep, better exercise, HIGH quality time with my son, a deeper connection to what I loved about summers as a kid. And, playing with creativity in other areas, like pairing juicy writing quotes with rad photos and starting to post them biweekly on Facebook (like my new page–which feels so weird to say!–and you’ll see them on your feed), and twitter and Pinterest (my newbie—very—foray). Check them out and share them if you’re so moved. Here’s today’s example:
Autumn will usher in schedules and busy-ness and productivity like autumn always does, but for now, I’m bonding with our hammock and watching, listening, feeling. Going dark to write changed things. I wish the same for you and look forward to hearing your thoughts on how this practice has (or will) helped your book write itself.