Settling into writing

imgresSummer came and I moved outdoors for the last few weeks. I have been reading but not writing. The garden called, the lake called and some how two weeks sailed by in the gentle breezes with no words on paper or screen.

I am now working to settle into a new rhythm. Writing time needs to come early in the day. It is the act of opening up space and holding that space scared for thinking and writing that is very important.

I am an outwardly directed person so I tend to look to the tasks that connect me with people or actions. Writing is an inward thinking task that for some is easy and fits like a soft leather glove, slide them on and begin.

Writing for me is a push and pull affair like hunting for your old garden boots, finding them and realizing you love them but they don’t fit quite right, you push and pull to get them on, you know they mean a lot of work but once they are on you are good to go and you settle into happily working.

Writers have lots of tricks they use to get them into the writing seat. They tie their writing to:

  • a certain time of day
  • a special place to sit
  • a certain notebook, or pen
  • after the first cup of coffee
  • before going to bed
  • as soon as the kids are at camp or the neighbors
  • when you arrive at your local coffee shop
  • putting on the old but loved garden boots

Ok, so I don’t really wear my garden boots to write but I do have an old faded couch near the front window in my office where I go to find my words.  I also use Roald Dahl’s trick of leaving my writing at a very juicy place, a place I know where it will be going the next time I sit down to write. The fact that I want to finish this section of writing, that I know where I am going makes it easier to sit down, settle in and look inwards for the words I need.

How do you settle yourself into writing?  Share you tricks of the trade.


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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