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.