The solution, across the board, is to shut up and wait. And watch, alert to the arrival of that which is coming. That is certainly true with writing. Writing is a matter of receiving more than creating. We don’t think anything up and write it down. We hear, sense, what needs to be said, and say it. Writing is as much the art of listening as it is of saying. What is said is what is heard. And, the hearing is inevitable once the waiting is in place.
So, sit down, shut up, wait, and write what you think you hear. See where it goes. Write without judgment, without appraisal, without evaluation, without expectation, without editing, without having to “get it right.” Just write what you think you hear. What you think needs to be said. Even if it makes no sense.
Write until you reach what seems like a natural stopping place, until you feel as though you are “written out.” Then stop, put it aside, and come back tomorrow, or at your next scheduled time to write.
It helps me to schedule writing times. I go from about 6:30 to about 8:00 am, Monday through Friday, and sometimes on Saturday. Occasionally in the afternoon during the week. I made a commitment to write with the Writer within, and I show up and wait. I don’t have to write, mind you. I simply have to show up and wait. I always write, but I am under no pressure to write. I’m not afraid of not writing. My place is to wait. The Writer within has to write. I only listen, and follow the path of words that have energy, or flow.
That’s how it works for me. I don’t know how it will work for you, but my hunch is that you can’t wait until you feel like writing to write. Writers write whether they feel like writing or not. Writing is a discipline, not a mood. If you want to write, write. It’s the easiest thing in the world. Show up, sit down, shut up, and wait. What could be easier than that?
There is such the need to believe in magic—in the world of magic—in a magical universe—with hexes, and curses, and charms, and wands, and wizards, and wizettes, and warlocks, and witches, whirling around doing battle for control of us and our world. It’s never about the whales and the fishes. It’s always about us.
We are the cause of the fixation and obsession of the gods and demons and stars. They can’t get their minds off of us. Their world revolves around ours. We may be at their mercy, but we are the whole point of their lives. Where would they be without us?
So, we make up our fanciful stories, and give ourselves a place in their world we don’t have in our own. It’s compensation for being irrelevant and dispensable and incapable of providing ourselves or those we love with a dependable, trustworthy, present and future. It’s hell being us and conscious of our plight. We have to take our comfort where we find it. And, we tell ourselves stories to explain our pain and hold out the hope of attaining the power we need to give ourselves what we want. Who can look truth in the eye and live on? Give us witches and warlocks, demons and gods! Not an ephemeral existence on the exposed surface of an exploding rock! We can’t handle no real future and no actual control.
Enjoy what can be enjoyed while it can be enjoyed. That’s my best advice. If you can’t enjoy anything about this moment, what can you do in this moment to position yourself to enjoy something about the next one, or the one after that? Upon what does your joy depend? I have to be relatively pain-free and invested in the moment, in what I’m doing in the moment, in what is happening in the moment. If the moment doesn’t offer something I can invest myself—my time and attention and energy—in, I’m not going to enjoy it.
We have to construct enjoyable moments. We cannot depend on them “just happening.” What do you like to do? Do it. Do it more often, for longer periods of time. Build things to look forward to into each day. And, be conscious of enjoying them while you are doing them.
You are not going to live always, you know. You can’t wait for the joy to begin on its own. You have to do what you can to have a good time while you still have time. And, don’t be putting it off, because you don’t know how much time you have. That’s my best advice.
We can anticipate some things, but we can’t know where some other things are going. My life, for instance. I have no idea where it’s going. I write and take photographs for no apparent reason beyond enjoying writing and taking photographs. The endeavors don’t seem to be going anywhere. I plan on living out my days doing what it takes to pay the bills and enjoy the time that is mine. I don’t think I’m going anywhere. What would I do there I can’t do here?