Montgomery Clift asked Clark Gable how he would approach his role in the Misfits. Gable replied: “I bring to it everything I have been, everything I am, and everything I hope to be.”
That is what we do when we write, or when we create anything. We bring all that we are in the moment to our endeavor. We can do nothing else, so it behooves us to believe in ourselves and what we have to offer. The better we know ourselves, honestly and with acceptance of the whole–even those parts that make us cry–the better and clearer we can write. The better we can live and leave something of value.
An artist is a sensitive creature. ~Julia Cameron on Twitter
“You’re too sensitive,” is commonly said in our society. I was told this often by people close to me. I grew up believing it a flaw. I felt shame and tried to eradicate the sensitivity. Thank goodness I could not fully succeed. Today I know the statement for the rot that it is. I know that it is important to honor the wonderful, magnificent sensitivity I have been given. In a world gone so very cold, we sensitive people need to shine and light the way in the darkness, and sometimes it is out of our own darkness.
A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. ~Franz Kafka, tweeted by Chad Hofmann. Reportedly from a letter from Kafka to his friend Max Brod.
Kafka was obviously sensitive, and honest about himself.
Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up. ~ Jane Yolen
Today’s schedule has gone awry. Totally. Annoyingly. I’m thrown into confusion. With so much to do today, so many obligations jumping up and down and shouting, I find myself at my computer, writing. Yes, that I’m fleeing confusion brings me here to the keyboard–but then I see. I am drawn to the keyboard and my writing by the strong, invincible force of habit. My Lord, I have succeeded in building my writing muscle, and it is demanding to work.
The writing habit is everything. Habit is a force that surpasses willpower. And anyone can build this powerful force. Just write everyday, as much as possible at the same time. Keep your habit, and it will keep you.
God bless, dear hearts,
“We’ll set a limit when we’re ready, and not a moment before.” ~ Melody Beattie, Language of Letting Go
This morning I reached a space of commitment, direction, confident willingness and understanding of myself as a writer at this point in time. I did not arrive here automatically or by wishing. While not being in control of the timing of getting here, I have been working toward this space. I’ve been writing toward it daily and diligently, most of the time seeming to grope in the dark of lack of understanding, too many opinions from others, and general distraction. But I kept on, writing and trying ideas, and this morning it is as if my mind and heart have found all the pieces and put them together, and I know who I am as a writer and where I’m going.
I see two lessons. One can only get to this point by living each moment as it comes. We can’t live in the past, nor can we live projecting into the future. Life is always in the now, living it the best we can at the present moment. I used to think, “if only I were a better writer…” “if I had more time…” “when I have less distractions…” But in the meantime I did my best at the moment I had, with the writing ability and time I had. When we use what we have, more is added.
As I write this, I am care-taking my elderly mother, as her normal caretaker has an emergency. My mother is every few minutes going back and forth to the bathroom with the aid of her rolling walker. We have bells attached to it, in order to keep track of her, and they are ringing out as she passes where I’m writing in the dining room (in order to be at her beck and call). I don’t know if her stomach is upset, or she simply forgets already having gone. The dog does a lot the same in and out the back door. An approaching storm catches my attention, as does the Bewitched theme blaring out of Mother’s television. Responsibilities swirl in the back of my mind.
But I keep on writing, and the time has arrived to know myself as a writer today and be willing to follow the value of my work.