The Writing Life – Practice Makes Human

During my first year of college, before I came to terms with the fact that I had neither the desire nor the drive to continue as a music major, I spent a good portion of my life in practice booths.  Tiny, tomb-like and entirely primitive by today’s standards,  they encased virtuoso and struggling beginner alike in soundproof solitude.   Hidden from prying eyes, protected from critical comments, we hauled ourselves through scales, arpeggios and etudes like half-mad mountaineers.  Climbing by half-steps up, sliding by half-steps down, we felt the hours tick by like the steady clicking of the metronome. 

Sometimes practice was enjoyable.  Occasionally, when fingers turned awkward and timing was off, it was frustrating beyond belief.   Progress was satisfying, but we never expected our solitary hours to be fun. We accepted the premise that the goal of practice was performance.  Emerging from the solitude and semi-gloom of our booths into the light of recital or concert halls, we put our carefully-honed techniques into the service of Beethoven, Mozart or Brahms.  Practice was private, performance was public, and those long hours of solitary practice were only a means to that quite public end.

When I think about writing and consider this week’s Write on Wednesday question (“Do you have a writing practice?  What’s it like?  How has it helped you become a better writer?” ), I realize how differently I approach my writing than I did my music. I don’t “practice” writing as a completely private act, hidden from public eyes.  While I sometimes work in an isolated silence that rivals any practice booth, in the process of writing, practice and performance collapse into a single event.  What I write, I post – for good or for ill.  There are no hours devoted to vocabulary scales or grammatical arpeggios.  There are only the literary equivalents to concerto, partita and sonata: writing, more writing and writing again, performed for anyone to see.

Because I write primarily for others and not for myself, the content of my writing and the readers I hope to engage are as important to me as the craft.  While the ability to structure an essay is important, and even though constructing interesting sentences and paragraphs is necessary, I’m equally concerned with the human qualities that shape my identity as a writer, and determine the nature of my work.

The qualities I consider important don’t come easily.  Discipline, perspective, perseverance, integrity, responsibility and confidence aren’t given at birth, like blue eyes or long fingers.  They require development over time, and a willingness to re-commit to their value over and over again.  In short, they require practice.

Discipline

Because I’m essentially flighty and undisciplined, easily distracted by the beautiful or interesting and more than willing to veer down roads that aren’t roads at all but merely footpaths through the grass, discipline is critical for me.  At its heart, discipline is about choices: I will do this, I won’t do that.  Choosing on a daily basis to read, to write and to think is important for any writer.   In the same way, decisions to engage fully in the disciplines of daily life and a willingness to respond to the needs of the world in which we live help form us as human beings, and as writers with something to say.  

Integrity

I’ve always considered integrity to be foundational for good writing.  I don’t mean this in a strictly moral or ethical sense, although questions of morality and ethics abound for anyone who writes.  Here, I mean integrity in the sense of wholeness, a consonance of word and deed so complete that who I am and what I say are obvious reflections of one another.

One of my favorite authors, Anne Morrow Lindberg, said it beautifully in her exquisite reflection, Gift From the Sea: I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can…  I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from the Phaedrus when he said, “May the outward and inward man be at one.”  There is no doubt that outward and inward can be joined, but that, too, takes practice.

Perseverance

There is nothing mysterious about perseverance.  Perseverance is getting up at 4 a.m. in order to write.  Perseverance is coffee at midnight, because the paragraph is almost right.  Perseverance is meeting apathy with renewed effort, criticism with dignity, and failure with a firm commitment to re-set higher goals.  Perseverance can be a bit tiresome, but it’s as easily practiced as putting one foot in front of the other, over and over again.

Perspective      

Everyone has a perspective on life.  Not everyone shares my perspective – that our world is a gift to be treasured and preserved, that goodness and beauty are real, or that love and trust are worth even the discovery they may have been misplaced.  For that matter, not everyone believes that words matter, or that on the deepest levels they participate in the rich, complex and vibrant realities they represent.   In a world filled with cynicism and laziness, choosing the right word can be an act of artistic rebellion against the prevailing culture, but doing it effectively requires practice. 

Confidence

In time, a writer has to stop looking into the mirror of public response in order to begin trusting his or her own vision and nurturing a deeply personal sense of what is right and true.  Beyond that, there is tremendous freedom in communicating without hestitation or regret.  However strange it may seem, I’ve never asked someone to read my work before I publish it, and I’ve never removed any of the essays I’ve posted.  Instead, I write and re-write until I’m satisfied my words are ready to stand.  Then, I allow them to do so.  For now, it’s simply my way of practicing confidence.

Responsibility

Finally, words have meaning, and those who craft them are charged with using them responsibly.  Whether the final product is an essay or poem, a flight of fanciful fiction or a satirical screenplay, a novel or simple notations in a blog, the writer is called to understand how powerfully words affect the world, and use that power with wisdom and discretion. 

Discipline, integrity, perseverance, confidence and responsibility – when those qualities are developed in the hiddenness of life’s practice booth, they allow performances to shine.  William Faulkner had his own memorable perspective on these issues, and expressed them in his 1950 Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing, because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.  He must learn them again.  He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truth of the heart; the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed – love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.”

The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things.  It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.  The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.”

Faulkner’s words are so nearly perfect it seems impossible to improve upon them.  And yet, I would dare to add this – in order to write about the heart, you have to have a heart, a heart which is whole and responsible, disciplined enough to persevere, and confident in its conviction that the heart of the world is worth a lifetime of commitment.

That’s why I practice being a writer as well as doing my writingWith a practiced heart, you can perform without fear, and let the sentences fall where they may.

 

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15 thoughts on “The Writing Life – Practice Makes Human

  1. Linda: Inspiring post. I appreciate your inclusion of ‘the heart’ and ‘integrity’ as necessary ingredients in writing. The comparison with music is also interesting… just feel that I know you a bit more now.

    Morning, Arti,

    I began reading Faulkner in college, but wasn’t introduced to his Nobel Prize speech until my Berkeley days. I’ve cherished it since, and never realized until recently how deeply it’s influenced my thinking.
    One of these days there will be an entry about the professor who made those introductions. He was as passionate about words and their use as any human being could be. He’s gone now, but I surely do wish he were still here to read what I’m writing. I think of him often, and how right he was about so many things.

    He said something else you will appreciate: “Good writing and salvation both are dependent on the willingness to say ‘I'”. Now, there’s a statement worthy of thought!

    Linda

  2. Some thoughts! Very inspiring!

    I love the disciplined way you went about it!

    Practising writing

    gautami,

    Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m deeply into preparations for possible evacuation for Hurricane Gustav, but once decisions about that have been made, I’ll have some time on this holiday weekend to enjoy other folks’ posts – like yours!

    One of the things that I always keep in mind is that structure and content belong together. There is a saying whose source I can’t find, but I think it’s true: the better your structure, the more emotion your writing can support. That’s true in so many ways, and in so many arenas of life. Without structure, there’s no support for the emotion OR thoughts. Like a beautiful gem, the proper setting allows it to shine.

    Best wishes – I’ll be by your page as soon as time allows.

    Linda

  3. My gracious Linda, ya just keep gettin better – keep on keepin on !

    Hi, Matt,

    Well, I was tickled enough to find you “over there”, and now you’re here, too. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the kind words. It’s always good to know you’re reading and enjoying!

    Linda

  4. Oh, I love this blog!

    All that you have written here comes through loud and clear in both your essays and your responses to comments. You invite us to join you in setting our sights a little higher, in challenging ourselves to persevere, and to both appreciate and contribute to the world in which we live.

    Hi, NumberWise,

    How nice to find you here! It is fun to write, and then to “write about writing”. Putting those rather different kinds of entries together not only helps clarify what it is that I’m trying to do, but gives me (and you!) a way to figure out if I’m doing it!

    As for setting sights higher – you and I have talked before about the insidious “dumbing-down” that happens in so many ways, on a daily basis. I’m no linguistic Luddite, but when I see what’s happening to the language because of texting and internet posting, I quiver just a bit. Someday there will be a word museum, where they display things like “perseverance” and “appreciation” with all their vowels and consonants intact, just so people can see how things were in the old days. Dare I say it? LOL!

    Have a great weekend!

    Linda

  5. Excellent post. It’s obvious you’ve given this so much thought. I think you’re a natural.

    Just read about evacuation orders. I hope you and yours are okay.

    Morning, Ella,

    More blueberries, that’s what I say! More blueberries, broccoli and salmon – all those good brain foods that stimulate thought… Those lemon blueberry biscuits of yours are part of my writing discipline, no doubt about it.

    On a slightly more serious note, it’s only now that I appreciate what I did for myself when I decided to throw away the high heels and hit the docks as a varnish worker. I have long, lovely days with nothing to do but sand, varnish and think. I can’t tell you how many entries have started out on the back of a piece of used sandpaper. Pure fun.

    Thanks for the good wishes re: Gustav. I stilll haven’t decided whether it’s “go” or “stay”, but if there’s a whiff of a chance of problems here in the Houston/Galveston area, me and my laptop, Mom, and one unhappy kitty are out of here. Enjoy your holiday!

    Linda

  6. Just don’t forget to make a public announcement when you publish a book. I’m sorry to say that this blog is no longer a suitable place for an adorable professional writer as you are, Linda. Or, at least, you should consider a self-hosted blog where you can monetize your writing. Pardon me for being a mouthful crap but that’s only a dull chimp’s advice — mind not my words. It’s just that … you are so GOOD at what you do right here :-P

    Hi, Baba,

    Book? Self-hosted? Monetize? Hmmm… is this Indonesian you’re speaking now? I think I’ve heard those words, but I don’t quite understand. LOL!

    Right now, what I’m doing is enough. I’m not nearly knowledgeable enough about the technical side of things to move into self-hosted, and I don’t want to spend any more time than I have to on site structure and so on. That may change, but it takes time. Right now, I’m just going to get my WP.com page spiffed up, get into a writing routine, and then things will develop as they should.

    I’m just happy you enjoy what I write, and are kind enough to take the time to say so. It means a lot!

    Linda

  7. Okay then; meanwhile, let me be your greatest fan!

    Hope the Gustav would be gentle to you and your family. Oh, and have a safe weekend ;)

    Hi, Baba,

    Decided no evacuation necessary, so we’ll wait this out at home. I’m glad – tomorrow is a holiday here, and I can play all day long if I choose! I remembered what I wanted to mention to you. One of the things that started my thought process for this essay was from your blog – the statement about “mind your heart, but heart your mind”. Exactly.

    Thanks so much for that wonderful bit of wisdom! See? Fandom goes both ways!

    Linda

  8. Another excellent read! Discipline jumps out at me, in this piece. Staying vigilant and focused about completing what you start, and feeling a peaceful confidence that you gave it your best. I struggle everyday with that one, and I realized something the other day, which was yet another epiphany for me. As I sat watching the hummingbirds in the back yard, (actually I was waiting for one to land long enough to get a decent picture) flitting from one feeder to the next, fighting each other for the perch to feed, and seemingly in a constant state of frenzy, I realized that my life is a lot like that right now. I am always flying off in a hundred different directions and not really accomplishing a thing! Unlike the pair of morning doves that always sit on their perch from above, patiently watching the chaos and confusion, and when the time is right, they fly down to feed on the ground below the feeders in a quiet, graceful manner, and accomplish the same task without the frenzy, heart-palpitating madness and stress exhibited by their counterparts.

    It slapped me up the side of the head, that I need to slow down, become diligent on completing the one task that is before me and complete it well, instead of worrying about the countless other things that I have to do that can be completed in a timely manner. Simple analogy, but oh so true.
    Today I plan to put one foot in front of the other, softly and slowly, and I will continue to persevere to do better! ( Love that word, “Perseverance” )

    Thank you for another bit of inspiration!

    Take care, stay safe, and I am glad that Gustav has not forced you to flee!
    Lori

    Good morning, Lori,

    Faring much better than friends and family in Louisiana this morning, but it surely could have been worse. It’s not even certain now that we’ll get the flooding rains that were predicted for us yesterday. There’s so much we don’t understand about these systems, but I’m grateful this one isn’t becoming a monster.

    I love your comparison of the birds. It reminds me of a lesson I learned when I began varnishing. I would begin to strip or sand a long rail – 30′ or 40′ long – and I’d grow so impatient. Looking at the end of the piece I’d think, “I’m never going to get there!” And as long as I focused on how big the task was, on how much was left to do, it wasn’t very pleasant. I’d become impatient, try to hurry the process, and sometimes have to redo things. When I began to take it an inch at a time, focusing on where I was without fussing about how long it was going to take, things went much faster, and better.

    And of course, sometimes the issue is what to tackle first. It can be easy to flit from one thing to another, and end by not getting anything done. I struggle with that all the time – running a business and caring for an elderly parent eats up huge chunks of time. Add writing and maintaining blogs, and things begin to get dicey. Every now and then I think, “I’d love to read that book”, but I don’t get it done. I suspect the time is there, if only I could make myself focus a bit more, too.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, and for the wonderful comments. If you glance toward the south today, that’ll be me you see, practicing putting one foot in front of the other myself!

    Linda

  9. Hello neighbor ~
    Just examined a Texas map, good grief, girl, do you live out in the middle of the Gulf? No wonder they talk about ordering an evacuation should Gustav decide to pay you a call! I hope you do not have to evacuate in the long run. I have been enjoying your blog again. All those wonderful descriptors regarding the discipline of writing . . . . . .I would almost swear you suffer from lexophilia!

    Seriously, you do quite well, and please let me tease you a bit, do not change your style, I enjoy it tremendously!
    Su

    Good morning, Su,

    Not quite in the middle of the Gulf, but at the water’s edge for sure, and one of those who would need to leave with any kind of storm surge or hurricane winds. We escaped this one – now it’s time to think about those who didn’t.

    Lexophilia – a wonderful disease to have. From what I’ve heard, it’s incurable, but not debilitating.
    And teasing is good treatment for it – anyone who thinks the difference between “less” and “fewer” is important needs some teasing to keep those tendencies in check!

    As for style, I love this remark by Flannery O’Connor. As early as 1949, writing to potential editor John Selby, she says, “In short, I am amenable to criticism, but only within the sphere of what I am trying to do; I will not be persuaded to do otherwise.” I believe that translates roughly as “Don’t tread on me.” If you haven’t yet found it, you might enjoy one of my very first posts, entitled “If You Have to Ask, You’ll Never, Ever Know”, where I included that quotation. I do think it’s clear that a certain confidence as a person is necessary before one can become a confident writer – and confidence is necessary for style to emerge.

    So good to see you again. I suspect you have tendencies toward lexophilia yourself!

    Linda

  10. I’m, indeed, deeply honoured, dear Linda. Thank you. And so am glad that the Gustav didn’t cost you a bit.

    With love and respect,
    ~baba~

    Good morning, Baba,

    And what a good morning it is! We’ll have a beautiful tropical sky today, with wonderful clouds, and just as soon as I finish coffee I’m off to work. By tomorrow we’ll have rain, and there will be time enough to sit down, roam the blogs and write. Best wishes for a peaceful evening!

    Linda

  11. Linda, I’ve been away from my computer until today, and I’m thinking about you as I watch the hurricane coverage on television. I hope you are safe, and that the storm weakens before it does too much damage.

    I’m so impressed with the direction you took this prompt. Your essay is so well thought out and crafted, the choice of quotations so perfect, I daresay you’ve written the quintessential post on this subject!

    Wonderful work! I plan to print this out so I can re-read it again when I need some inspiration :)


    Becca,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m sure you understand I didn’t just “whip this up” after you posted this week’s prompt. Many of these issues have been of interest to me for months, if not years -sometimes in quite different contexts. And I began thinking about all this when you posted about practice a few prompts back. I simply wasn’t ready to write about it at that point.

    That’s the primary reason I established a Write on Wednesday page on my blog. I anticipate posting some responses on the page, and then, eventually, those responses may get re-worked and posted as a blog. As I mentioned in another entry (“Reading, Writing and Thinking), it’s the thinking that takes the most time and effort.

    Now, Gustav has come and is relatively gone, and it’s time to start thinking about something besides evacuation. I’m looking forward to this week’s prompt, and to a bit of time for a new entry here.
    Again, thanks for stopping by.

    Linda

  12. Your words are humbling and uplifting at the same time. This is a post I shall read and re-read to let the words sink in. Thank you for spending the time to find the right words.

    Jackie,

    I am thrilled that you stopped by – not only because of your appreciative comments, but also because it helped me find your blog. There were so many memories stirred there as I read, and my first inkling of how to solve a mystery that has been puzzling me! Finding your blog was the “brawta” for my day, the little extra that kept me smiling and smiling.

    I lived in Liberia for a time, and there what you call brawta, we called a dash – that extra yam, the larger portion of rice, the scoop of groundpeas for good measure. It wasn’t just a market custom, as you know. That “little extra” was as much social as economic; it cemented relationships, and helped to bridge the gaps between people. Yes, sometimes there were those who expected their dash, much as waitstaff expect a tip these days – but for the most part, it was graciously given and graciously received. I hadn’t thought of it in some time, and now I miss it all over again!

    I loved your stories of the story-tellers, too – again, we had our own, like Spider and the Honey Tree. And your description of families gathered around reminds me of the custom of spending time. I need to write about some of these things, so wonderful and so strange to us Americans.

    But the most wonderful thing I found in your comments was this: “Jamaican creole is our heart language, so our story doesn’t make sense in any other language.” If you look on my sidebar, you’ll see a page – not yet completed – entitled “Speaking My Heart”. Originally, I was going to title my blog, “Speaking My Heart: Vision and Truth in an Age of Change”. Except, I couldn’t find the words to explain what it was that I meant. The phrase seemed absolutely right, but mysterious. Now, I have a phrase to use that may help me explore it in a productive way: heart language. Thank you so much!

    See? I told you I had been reading and reading! Now, I’ll read some more, and be a regular visitor to your blog, too!

    Linda

  13. Hi Linda

    I enjoyed this article. It is very well-written and beautifully crafted.

    Whilst I do not believe that it elucidates human nature, it tells me much about you, your special qualities and your values.

    You wrote, “Because I write primarily for others and not for myself, the content of my writing and the readers I hope to engage are as important to me as the craft.” It caused me to ask to what end or purpose, do you write for others? Do you write to entertain them, to inform and educate them, or for some other motive? Or is it for the “greater purpose” that Faulkner describes. I would be interested to know.

    Your values for writing and life are attractive in some ways. They sound virtuous too. I am not sure to what extent you believe they might be a prescription for others which I expect might be your purpose in writing about them. In a way, I found them easier to relate to practising music than I did to writing.

    I find that my own writing (novels more than my blog) is sometimes not that well-structured or disciplined other than in my intention to write and persevere in writing.

    Even on my blog, I have the experience of struggling in self-expression often. But there is frequently a step in writing that is not always present in practising music, at least, there is for me. I believe it’s as much a quality and a value as those you mention here. It’s about the multi-faceted practice of preparation, of developing a sense of awareness, of reflection on thoughts and emotions, sometimes on those of others as well as my own. It’s not as simple as preparing a plan or a plot-line. It might be in part about hearing what one’s heart has to say about a subject.

    Having done preparation, sometimes words, words that occasionally feel out of my control come streaming out, often thousands at a time. Frequently, I have the experience of this happening then standing back in awe and surprise at what I’ve written. I mention this since I feel that writing can be both inspirational and inspiring, that it is not always susceptible to such a neat package of organised qualities.

    That takes me neatly to my next point! This piece is conscientious and skilfully written. I believe that I gained some sense of what I feel about writing in Faulkner’s words, although I am a more than a little reticent to hark back to “glory of (man’s) past.”

    Writing can be passionate, inspiring, enjoyable and agony too. Some of my best writing outside my blog has caused me to weep endlessly. I know if my writing stirs deep emotions in me, then invariably it will in others too. This is the way of speaking from the heart. Do you feel those same passions too?

    As an aside, you say that you have never had others read what you have written before publication. This is fine if you are talking about self-publication either here or elsewhere. My experience of book publishers and literary agents, however, is that they will often ask if others have read your work, for details of their feedback and how you acted upon it.

    How did I do for large rectangular words that time? It makes me smile that your expression has now entered the parlance of other commenters on my blog! I’m not very fond of those words myself. I prefer more straightforward comprehensible language, but of late I’ve been reading and writing about philosophy, where I find myself decoding language and stumbling into some intellectuals’ vocabularies accidentally.

    I love your writing! Really relieved to hear the news that Gustav will not be disruptive of your life to the extent you may have feared.

    Warmly,

    Geoffrey

    Hi, Geoffrey,

    Time here for a bit of lunch, and a more leisurely reply. First, as I’m sure you’ve seen, I tried to clarify why I saw the connection between this post and your new blog at your blog page. No need to do so here.

    My reason for writing is as simple as a small story I told in an earlier entry. Not so many months ago I witnessed a six-year-old running in to her house bubbling and breathless. “Look, Mommy!”, she exclaimed, waving about a fistful of leaves. ”Look what the tree gave me! I’m so happy I’m going to make something no one’s ever seen!”

    My life just now seems filled to overflowing with the world’s gifts: places, people, art, insights. I’m not creating unified theory here, I’m just saying, “Here’s what I’ve noticed. Here’s what I make of it. What do you think?” If I can engender some curiosity, encourage a bit of reflection, or stimulate someone to engage more deeply with the world around them, I’ll be happy. I suppose I say I write primarily for others because the sharing is what I most enjoy. Happily, it’s a two-way street. Many of my essays have been stimulated by readers’ comments on other essays – and around and around we go! It’s part of the fun of this new genre.

    As far as any “prescriptive” elements – not this girl. There are values I hold dear, and ways of being I find more satisfying than others, and I’ll talk about those freely. But I’d rather have them shine in a story that be catalogued in a rulebook.

    I especially was taken with your comments on “that multi-faceted practice of preparation, of developing a sense of awareness, of reflection on thoughts and emotions…” One of the realities of life is that you can’t say everything at once, and the process you refer to is important in the creative process. A blog or two down the road I’ll be talking about the nature of creativity, and elements that seem important to me: curiosity, engagement and reflection. I’m not certain “pedantic” and “creative”
    get along very well, and a sole emphasis on discipline, perseverance, etc. might lead toward writing that tends toward the pendantic.

    And just a note about the editorial process. When I wrote “I write and re-write until I’m satisfied my words are ready to stand. Then, I allow them to do so. For now, it’s simply my way of practicing confidence”, it was simply a way of saying that just now I’m functioning as both writer and editor.
    Once I’m certain of my voice, there will be time enough to ask others to help shape its tone, inflection, phrasing and so on. One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is “be careful who you listen to, because you’ll begin to sound like them.” For now, it’s time to listen to my own heart.
    I want to sound like myself!

    Again, many, many thanks for such an interesting and complete response. I look forward to enjoying much more of your writing in the future.

    regards, Linda

  14. oh my. well said, so incredibly well done. Especially (for me) the part about truth and singleness of eye (from AM Lindberg). I think you must write in very beautiful, serene and/or Zen-like surroundings.

    And thank goodness Gustav is gone from your area. I wish it were literally gone from everywhere.

    Good morning, Oh,

    My aunt in Kansas City was laughing last night about the fact that she’s getting more rain from Gustav than I did. Strange, strange creatures, these storms. I do hope it doesn’t stall somewhere and begin flooding someone like Fay did.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, and for the kind words. I did get a huge laugh from your comment about a serene, Zen-like setting for my writing. Uh – no. I’d post a pic, except there’s no way in the world I would do that. Things are a little chaotic around here just now. But now that I think about it, I realize how little difference “setting” makes to me. When I sit down to write, everything else just falls away. Dishes in the sink? Laundry to be folded? Bills to pay? Lists of things to do? Not a problem – I can ignore them all! Maybe that’s zen-like, after all.

    I do know this. If I need to feel serene or centered, Anne Morrow Lindberg is the way to do it. For years I’ve kept a moon snail on my desk. I look at it quite a bit.

    Linda

  15. Excellent piece, Linda.

    I find the most difficult thing about writing for me is the discipline part. So many things vying for my attention. And some of them, husband, children, family responsibilities, rightfully so. But it’s the little things that often lure me away from writing.

    It’s so strange, sometimes I think I would rather do ANYTHING but write. And then, when I sit myself down and make myself do it, I am always so glad that I did.

    Thanks for giving me lots to think about.

    Good morning, tee,

    You’re so right – there are both significant responsibilities and simple distractions that can draw us away. And, as I’ve experienced for the first time, being completely focused on something like Hurricane Gustav can simply suck away creative energy. For a day or two over the weekend, even when I was sitting down to write, all I could think about was that blessed storm – and soon I was back to watching the weather charts! So, we learn to cope and adjust and learn all the little tricks to help ourselves along.

    Thanks so much for dropping by and for the reflective comments. Always appreciated!

    Linda

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