What writers can learn from not writing

Gone fishin’ for material…

Trying to figure out what I was going to write about in today’s post when I came across this post called “Not Writing. I admit the title was the first thing to catch my attention. Because that isn’t exactly a title you’d associate with the craft of writing. Maybe something like “Why I just love writing,” or “My fingers just won’t let me leave this keyboard,” or “Here’s how you can teach yourself to never stop writing. Ever.”

But “Not Writing”…?

So of course I had to delve in a bit, and what I found was what I needed to find on this particular day. It reminded me that writing, above all, is all about life. So then live already. I mean, we’ve all seen the numerous posts about how important it is to write all the time and to never let anything get in the way of you writing, and that’s all really important because dedication does matter.

But so does life. And even the best writers can’t produce on an empty tank.

“When I had knee surgery, I had little concentration to read, but I watched the entire season of Treme, and a few dozen other movies and television shows. It was nearly impossible to do much of anything, so I had the longest non-writing stretch of my adult life—about six weeks. I colored mandalas and listened to music.

“The good news is, when there wasn’t some crisis in motion, I somehow wrote a lot of pages. Even if I have no memory of the working days, I did them. More, I’m pleased with the work–I loved Epic as much as anything I’ve written in recent years.  But because of all the upheavals, one book had to be finished on an impossibly short deadline—and by some miracle, I made it, with a few days to spare. That never happens!

“You see where I’m going with this. It was the not-writing, the reading and gardening and quiet hours flying or resting that made it possible for me to write a lot when I could actually get to the computer.”

Stop. Breathe. Observe. Proceed.

This is being cross-posted on Detroit Ink Publishing

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kaoblues
Writer and musician.

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