I have written roughly five hundred words which for me is the usual for thirty minutes.
I have been wandering away consistently, though, taking on what I call “short attention span keyboard” and I’m not exactly certain why.
The why doesn’t even matter of course, what matters is what will I do about it with multiple writing projects hanging in the balance, how can I sustain them and my overall happiness with the craft if I don’t stay put and write?
I see photos of Alice Eastwood, a woman naturalist who was so passionate about her work she astonishes me. Plus I need a hat like she is wearing in the circa 1900 photo. Susan Glaspell is up there as is the work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and a postcard of a woman levitating above her lawn which my friend sent me because she said it reminded her of me when I write on my porch.
What should I do, wise women, when I am having trouble sitting still to write?
Anais says, “Do something that honors the hunger of your senses,” as she takes a puff on the end of her very long cigarette holder.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman says, “Don’t be too rough on yourself. Do what you feel the urge, right now, to do the most.”
I plant my face in my palm.
Charlotte continues, “Obviously in this precise moment, writing isn’t it. You are excused for the next hour. Make some good.”
And with that, I shut down my computer, grabbed my dogs’ leashes and headed out to one of my favorite outdoor haunts very close to my house.
It was a tremendous choice.
The next time you feel completely stuck behind a brick wall of words and think what you SHOULD do is chain yourself to your key board, consult some of the writers you admire the most.
I did use my senses to see, to smell, to feel textures. I took photos, I talked to people I met along the path. I enjoyed my dogs.
I didn’t climb a tree, but I honored and greeted several.
I definitely improvised.
I took a break.
I came back and I wrote.
PS – If you are unfamiliar with the writers I mention here, use your favorite search engine and seek information about them. Each is a fantastic woman writer who could teach each of us a lot.
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© 2012 by Julie Jordan Scott
Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield. She leads Writing Camp with JJS & this Summer will be traveling throughout the US to bring this unique, fun filled creative experience to the people wherever she finds the passion & the interest.