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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Did You Forget Someone on Valentine’s Day?


love writing canstockphoto9043937 (2)I’m sure you remembered all the people you love – but did you remember your writer self?

You know, the part of you that loves to write, but so rarely gets the chance to write what you’re truly passionate about in a way that is deeply satisfying.

If you’ve slighted your writer self, a half-price box of chocolates from Walgreen’s isn’t going to make up for it. (Believe me, I tried that for years.)

As Norman Mailer observed in The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing, “If you tell yourself you are going to be at your desk tomorrow, you are by that declaration asking your conscious to prepare the material…

“You have to maintain trustworthy relations. If you … cannot get to literary work, your unconscious, after a few such failures to appear, will withdraw.”

You know it’s essential to make time for the people you love. And deep down you know it’s essential to make time for the creative work you love and that your spirit craves.

time is now canstockphoto6829263 (2)Today is the day to show up for your writing. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes, even if it seems like you aren’t “accomplishing anything worthwhile.”

Show up. Be there with the words that seem all jumbled up and have gotten shy, awkward or petulant because you haven’t been around. Just be there.

 Author, carpenter and woodworker Spike Carlson put it this way, “When I was raising five mutinous teenagers, people who often expound, ‘They may act like they don’t like structure and discipline – but deep down inside, they yearn for it.’

“So it is with your writing: Your words may play hooky, sulk, roll their eyes at you, hang out with the wrong prepositional phrases, but deep down inside, they like Product Time. It provides them [and your creative spirit] with structure – and the subliminal peace of mind that comes with it. Someday your words will thank you for it.”

Someday your unconscious will forgive your absences. But only if you keep showing up. Today is the day.chocolate canstockphoto6773559 (2)

And after you show up, that box of chocolates can be your reward!

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2 Comments on “Did You Forget Someone on Valentine’s Day?”

  1. Joel D Canfield February 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    My biggest personal goal is to establish my writing as a habit.

    I’m at the very beginning of my mystery’s rewrite and I’m fighting it tooth and nail. I’m working less and less on client stuff (h’ray for my team who make this possible) and the open schedule is wreaking havoc with my intentions.

    Bit by bit, one day at a time. I love these tidbits about why keeping my word to myself is important.

    Like

    • rosannebane February 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

      Glad to be of help Joel. I used to yearn for open days on my calendar, entire days I could devote to writing. Then I became a writer and realized just how threatening an open day can be. Bit by bit, one day at a time is a great pace (as long as one day at a time is consistently followed by another day of bit by bit of course).

      Like

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