The shift I referenced in Enter Your Cave was that something fitting back into place.
It’s about the writing. It’s only ever been about the writing.
Take away all of the glitter and static, hurt feelings and intoxicating relationships, wheel-spinning and momentum. What you have left is the writing. The size of a mustard seed in the palm of your hand, it is our writing that propels this massive medium.
Perspective shifted back into place as my captivation with the writing process shivered its deep, cool roots. I delved deep into my cave and I found writing there.
Writing is an indulgence that we can all sink into, regardless of economic status, niche interest, education (beyond a few minimal barriers to entry), or talent. No one said your writing had to be good before you could enjoy writing. I would say it works exceedingly well in reverse, as your words find their bearing the more vigorously you shake them out of yourself.
Sink into the writing process with me. What inspires you to stop what you are doing and record your thoughts? Where do you write? What do you use? Do you involve any form of ritual? Must you wear a writing sweater in order to truly tap into the good stuff? Do the words ring truer at night? Is the process incomplete without coffee? Tea? What are your favorite pens? Must-have notebooks? Don’t tell me you don’t have favorites.
Are you your harshest critic? Do you get sick of yourself? Bang out the words and not look back? Comb each sentence for bits that won’t absorb? Read your work aloud? Cringe at the sight of older pieces? Find comfort in yourself?
I have so much I want to talk with you about that we might as well make it a series. Complete with a graphic, because this is blogging, after all. I invite you to join me. (pssst… I worked harder on that graphic than I would have for myself alone, in case you want to use it, too. It’s linked to the series category.)
Have you never given the writing process much thought? You aren’t alone. That’s no excuse to not start now. Is this right up your alley? I’m dying to hear your peccadilloes. You have no idea.
Sitting next to me, at my big black desk in our family room, is a flip-top spiral notebook full of the peccadilloes that make up my writing process. A jumble of “ooh, and I have to have…” and “I wonder if anyone else adores…” and lots of “plus this one and this one and that one and those…” that I’ve miraculously organized into three sections:
That sounds like three posts, but who are we kidding? I can’t mix pens and notebooks into one post that would come in under 1,000 words! To combine where we write with what we wear when we write our best stuff would be blasphemy! The books that model my practices and the bloggers that inform my voice would be a mass of hyperlinks that would serve no one.
The art of selecting the right coffee shop for a writing session deserves room to stretch out all on its own, don’t you think?
In other words, there are no hard and fast rules to this series. All I ask is that you consider, maybe for the first time, what your writing process is and what it means to you. You need not consider yourself a writer. There’s nothing to compel you to say, “I’m just a blogger.” We all have a creative process. We all do.
I’m asking you to poke your creative process with a big stick. Does it poke back?
The next time you sit down to write, stop and look around. What do you reach for first? Where do you sit? What time is it? What do you hear? Where do you look? What do you touch?
Because our writing implements are our most basic tool, regardless of time, place, and talent, that’s what I’ll write about first and next. Pens, to be exact. Would you believe that a simple search for disposable fountain pens introduced me to a whole new world of office supply blogs? I mentioned that fact on twitter and there was an audible gasp and swoon. We are all, at the end of the day, geeks at heart.
So I’m going to write an ode to my favorite pen.
When I say this is an indulgent focus on tools, space, and self, I exaggerate not. What else do you want to talk about?
click photos for source-- credit to Sorta Crunchy for leading me to the incredible Poem Store series
*If you write about your writing process as a part of this series, be sure to send me the link and I'll add it to the bottom of this post and/or whichever post in the series inspires you.