As I walked to work one day last week, I watched a man drive into the middle of a busy intersection, narrowly missing a bus. He was on the phone.
I stood there shaking my head as another woman commented that the phone conversation couldn’t have been that important. Then she said words that resounded in my head like the vibrations of a tympani:
“Whatever happened to the intimacy of quill and parchment?”
This statement stuck a chord with me because I do a great deal of my idea generation by hand. For me, a notebook and pen (or pencil) helps me get close to my writing. Like I’m sharing a part of myself that otherwise don’t show. Almost like writing in a diary.
I love the closeness it gives me to the writing. The feel of paper, the flow of glossy ink. It makes me feel connected to the developing story. Pushing my hand across the page mimics my pushing the hidden ideas to the surface. When I finally sit at the computer, I not only transpose what I wrote on the paper, but I’m so connected with the notes—what I call “story starts”—that the words emerge more fluidly.
Sometimes, we forget to be intimate with our writing. We do all of the other things on our lists, rushing around until we finally plop down in front of the computer and expect the words to flow forth with ease. And when they don’t we’re frustrated.
But is the time we’re spending at the computer quality time?
Imagine a relationship in which you ignore your Significant Other until you need something. Then expect that person to consistently provide what you need, and do it happily.
Umm, yeah… No.
If you’re having trouble with feeling inspired or finishing a project, spend a little intimate time with your craft. Don’t force it, but make notes of things that interest you: a song lyric, a character name, anything. It doesn’t even have to be on paper, you can use a voice recorder. (If you write horror or erotica, I don’t suggest using the voice recorder when you’re in public. It could get you some unwanted attention.)
Keep these notes and read over them when you’re stuck. Let your own words inspire you.
Find a way to get closer to your writing. Maybe it’s changing your writing spot or imagining yourself with a successful publication… Or even writing in a genre you’ve never tackled before.
Just make sure to carve out a piece of your busy day to show your craft some love.
The above image is courtesy of the wonderful Mia at Nevermore Prints. Browse her Etsy store and have her create something special just for you. Nevermore Prints