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Posts from the ‘writing’ Category

Self-Encouragement

I thought you might want to read Steven Pressfield’s latest post, The Sphere of Self-Reinforcement, where he asks and answers the question, How we keep believing?

Believing is what keeps us putting one foot in front of the other. Pressfield calls it self-reinforcement–which is the way we keep on keeping on. There is no other way. My term is self-encouragement. When you don’t have other people encouraging you, you just have to encourage yourself.

This morning when driving grandson to school, I was listening to my iTunes radio. I realized that the music was turning my mind to my fiction work in progress, helping me center in the ‘tone’. It was helping me find belief and encouragement, and a happy place inside. I decided to play it–encourage myself– when I write.

 

Writing My Way to Sanity

I came to my office dormer nook, computer on the lap, cup of tea at hand, ceiling fan revolving peacefully. I had just opened the post when I heard the doorbell below. Down I go to attend to the nurse visiting my bed-ridden mother, confer with the nurse for half an hour, during which time I make necessary decisions and also greet the arrival of the housekeeper. See the nurse out the door and confer with the housekeeper. Forty minutes after I first open the post, and after turning my head from half a dozen matters calling my name, I’m here again, trying to remember what great thought I had that I was going to write about.

“Are you writing again?” a friend asked.

“Yes. It is the only way I’m going to keep a shred of sanity.”

No matter what goes on in my life, I have to breathe, eat, sleep. No matter what goes on in my life, I have to write. Writing is the trail of bread crumbs to keep me finding myself. For this reason it is as important as breathing and eating.

There is the popular book, Eat, Pray, Love. For me it would be Pray, Love, Write. Or maybe Pray, Love, Write, and don’t forget tea.

After twenty minutes of writing, I sigh deeply and my body relaxes. Ah…

Try it. It is good for everything and for everyone. If you don’t type, get a sheet of paper and just start to write. Write for ten minutes. Write praise, or a plot, or grumble and rave. Write a list of all the things you love, or hate, or wish you could do. See how you feel afterward.

And now I’m off to take the new kitten to the vet. But I’m still writing in my mind.

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
― Thomas Merton

 

Start Where You Are

Start where you are is the advice from Julia Cameron on writing, and from just about every sage on living. It really isn’t rocket science. Where else would one start?

Figuring out where one is is the challenge. We have to do it ourselves. No one can do it for us, but there is help. Of course I turn to books. I am currently reading (oh, yes, always a number of books going) Catherine Marshall’s To Live Again.

I’m at a point of a new life, just as she was. I’m by myself, completely on my own, for the first time. I want to begin a writing project, something to go to every day, a project to accomplish. I want to write again. Yet, I hesitate. Which one? I had several underway before my husband’s death. I had ideas and desires. Well, that thought makes me chuckle. Does it matter where I begin? Just begin to write, and I’ll be started to where I need to go.

One lesson I learn, again and again, and once again this morning, is that I must begin writing the first thing in the morning. Here I’ve played on the internet, spent a wad ordering on Amazon–dear Lord, the world would end if I had not gotten those pink rain boots, don’t you know– answered emails, and just generally frittered away all the time that is best for me to write.

Change what I can, and blocking out the writing early, refraining from doing anything else before the writing, is one thing I can change. I think when we’re starting where we are, we need to do what we can do.

And now, I’ve written here and all over the place, and am a happy girl. It does not matter so much in the beginning what we write, as it does to form the habit of writing, and in forming that habit, we experience the uplift–we help ourselves, liberate ourselves, find ourselves. Start writing right where you are, and you accomplish all of this.

God bless us all.

“Each forenoon, Monday through Thursday, I began work at nine. By twelve-thirty or one I would be limp, written out for the day.” ~Catherine Marshall, To Live Again.

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