~ Dorothy Parker
I’ve been a writer now for a very long time, and I still don’t know precisely why it’s such hard work. I keep hoping–in vain now, I must accept–that experience will make it easier. But apparently not.
I do know I’m not alone. I haven’t met a single experienced writer who claims it’s easy. Granted, some times are easier than others, and these times vary from writer to writer. Many of my writer-friends love the first draft and loathe revisions. For me, it’s the other way ’round: there’s something about ex nihilo –creating something out of nothing–that drains me. Then too I get discouraged when what I spit up on the page is so far from what I want it to be. (See last week’s post.)
And yet we persevere. Why? Because we love the thrill of accomplishment. Yes. Also because our spirits long for the release of expression. And because we know that once we have managed to have written, we’ll have created something no one else on the planet could in exactly the same way. And that, every time, seems nothing short of miraculous.
Some of the tricks I use for getting to have written are these:
~ Set a timer. The ticking clock compels me to get something done. Sometimes I use the Pomodoro technique. Simple.
~ Bite-sized pieces. Anne Lamott talks about writing down only what one can see within a one-inch picture frame. Just that.
~ Good old-fashioned discipline. Every day, sit my butt in the chair and place my fingers on the keyboard. That’s it.