Gleanings– Living the Writer’s Life, by Eric Maisel

I point out that the subtitle of Eric Maisel’s book, Living the Writer’s Life, is ‘a complete self-help guide’. I’ve always had more trouble being the writer than with the act of writing. On page 90, he begins a list of sixty writers’ challenges. Fascinating. I came to:

Chaos. Make ‘to do’ lists on erasable boards. Pull the essentials out of the chaos. Lock onto your current writing idea and do not let go until it has grown whole and beautiful. ~ Eric Maisel

My life is chaos. It is what I grew up with. I see this with sudden clarity. It’s said that what we grow up with in our first six years is the way we continue to live. No wonder I’ve continued to live with so much chaos. I’ve come to acceptance– much of that being accepting the need to let go of the chaos that I myself create out of sheer habit. It’s a start. I can’t do anything about the chaos foisted upon me by the world.

Dear Lord, don’t complicate my life further by having to find an erasable board. I use a notebook, and I scribble, but it does help. What seems to help the most is to commit to the writing. I like that idea of locking onto my current writing idea. That serves as an anchor. A commitment, from a person who so hates and fears commitment. But I’ve done it. I realized this morning that I’m writing on a new fiction project, really writing. I do about a page or two a day. I was trying for more, but couldn’t do it, so I would give up. Now that I’m only requiring that I write on it every day, I’m doing at least a page, sometimes two, sometimes three.

The writing of fiction is helping me to make sense of my chaotic world.

3 thoughts on “Gleanings– Living the Writer’s Life, by Eric Maisel

  1. Your words are peaceful and helpful. How could chaos be in there? Maybe chaos is in all our lives, I feel it often. So I will try a “to do list” and oh, just wanted you to know that my chickens help me. I sat by them two days this week and shelled pecans. They were wonderful companions, scratching and “purring” quietly. Looking at me occasionally with one eye, waiting for the pecan pieces to fall, blue sky and God’s world, a comfort as always. 🙂


    • Oh, Ruth, what a wonderful picture you give me! Thank you. My chickens are peaceful, too. Just sweet little girls. 🙂 And now I have a puppy, who is equally peaceful. I take her out with me to the chicken yard, and she just sits and watches them, sometimes she sniffs butts. How funny! The chickens are not afraid of her, either.



  2. It is so funny–or maybe not–that when I think of you I think of peacefulness. All I actually know is your writing, and I cannot make it real that your voice could have come from chaos. Obviously, you’re even better than I thought! 🙂


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