Saturday, January 30, 2010

Show Up!





I surfed onto a talk show online this afternoon. Right into the middle of it. Shortly after I started listening there was a new caller who wanted to ask for advice about a book she had in mind to write. But before she could finish her question the hostess/teacher of the show interrupted her to say: Stop talking about it and show up.

She added that books don't get written by thinking about it or talking about it. They get written when you set the words on page or screen, when you pick up the pencil or apply fingers to keyboard. She told her caller that she sensed she was a good writer but that she lived too much in her head and she had to trust that the words would come through her if she would just show up for them.

(I am paraphrasing but that was the gist.)

I wish I knew who I'd been listening to so I could give her credit for applying a massive zing to my psyche. For that is the same problem I have. Living too much in my head--thinking and talking about my projects more than writing them and that includes writing about them here and elsewhere.

My new netbook is a tool I've been dreaming of having for nearly two decades--a computer small enough to carry about as easily as a spiral notebook, with several hours of battery power, with more space than I could fill in several lifetimes. I was sure that if only that ever became reality, I would be able to write anything, anytime, anywhere.

But I've had it for a month (28 days as of this night) and have yet to write one word of fiction or poetry.

Today I was made to see (yet again!) how easy it is to mistake the idea for the work; to make a zillion excuses which amount to spitting in the face of the muses; and to assume that the work of writing would accomplish itelf as though by magic if I could just manipulate my work environment, writing tools, papers, notes, books, thoughts into the proper arrangement.

But it doesn't work that way. It doesn't matter how organized or how beautiful or how convenient the tools and environment are--or how inspired the ideas--if you don't show up.

That's my primary 2010 goal: To make showing up for the words a daily habit. All year. Not just for NaNoWriMo.

0 tell me a story:

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