If you’ve been having trouble writing lately, here's a gratitude practice for writers that works for me Every.Single.Time.
Grab a pen and paper: ready?
Over the years as a reader, you’ve read books that excited and thrilled you, and books that made you feel you were not alone.
This came up for me again this week when a colleague asked for some “pandemic reading recommendations” and I responded to her with what became quite a loooong list and could have been even longer.
I started with the book I’m reading right now (the last in Hilary Mantel’s Cromwell trilogy) and I was so excited to share it, because I love knowing that other people might love it as much as I do. And it’s such a great escape right now.
When I was younger, I used to think that a book had to be “literary” or somehow “worthy” for me to enjoy it, and certainly to recommend...
Can you spare 10 minutes?
Writing practice always varies from writer to writer. It's not what it looks like that necessarily matters -- the details can vary but the need for a considered writing practice never goes away, even for published writers.
There was a time, about a decade ago now, when I could not bring myself to write. I had been seriously working on my writing for a number of years, and had published poems and stories in literary journals, and won some prizes. I was at the point where I needed to be pulling together my first book of poetry.
It’s not that I was blocked exactly, I just couldn’t sit down to write. I'd lost all of the delight I used to have in my writing practice.
I kept telling myself I was just too busy, with family and with work, and that I would get to it “soon.” But the longer I went without writing, the harder it was to write. Weeks and months went by without my being able to really put pen to paper.
Sometimes I forget that writing takes time.
Last week, I had ALL of the meetings. You’d think the world would have run out of meetings by now, but no: apparently, there will be more next week. And I still had that cold that will not leave and has me hacking morning and night. My daughter texted to say that I’d forgot to send her money for university this month, which reminded me OH RIGHT, PAY THE BILLS. I had multiple events in the evenings and on top of that, I discovered Transparent on Amazon. (No judgement, ok?)
It seemed I would never get any writing done ever again. Which felt fine, because I wasn’t convinced that my current work was all that great anyway
And this is me now that I’m not parenting on a daily basis. For a long time, I was also single parenting while working and going to school at the same time – and yet, in those years it seemed like I got even more writing done. What is up with...