“Find out what you need for writing that will make it easier for you on this journey. Test it out. Try sitting or lying down. Write first thing in the morning, then late at night. In a café, at home. Most of this will be dictated by the urgency of what you need to do. Pay attention to your needs and cultivate them. Try to find a ritual that will help you write. Maybe it will just be a shower in the morning and a cup of coffee. Or maybe you’ll find that you must read the newspaper first. Or your favorite book. Or meditate. Whatever it is, search out the ways that will make writing easier for you.”
Writing Toward Home, Georgia Heard
I love the simplicity and grace of this advice: Just figure out what works for you — and do it. So often we find ourselves fascinated by the writing process of other writers. As we struggle to complete our own projects, we look for clues to success from authors who have completed theirs. And yet, the more we look outside ourselves for some secret formula we can apply, the more confused we become — mainly because there are so many different ways that writers approach the page.
Instead, let’s just keep it simple. Let’s take the steps that Georgia, an accomplished poet and teacher, so gently suggests:
• realize that writing is a journey and that you need to pack your own suitcase for it.
• pay attention to your needs — explore and nourish them so you can give yourself the
best possible chance of succeeding in your work.
• test out different writing approaches with an open mind and a sense of adventure and
see what’s most enjoyable and fruitful for you.
• find a ritual that will help you ease into your writing sessions and use it as a
touchstone every time you meet the page.
• keep searching, gently but with intention, for ways to make writing easier for you.
Along with giving ourselves permission to write and permission to sometimes write badly, let’s also give ourselves permission to make writing as stress-free and enjoyable as we possibly can. When we come to our work in a relaxed and playful way, the pleasure we feel shows up on the page. Write on.