Submitted by megan on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 19:27
It's nice to think about the hows and the whys, and maybe that will get me there someday. Not fast enough. What do I do now to start writing again? Aside from exercising my word brain here.
There's a book I have been dipping into occasionally, and probably not as much as I should: The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp. Among her many recommendations: habit; collect.
Habit is almost everything, fuck. Why I'm in this position at all. Lots of things aren't that hard to do once you're doing them, but the starting feels as if it might kill you.
I'm a person who goes in cycles: I run for 2 years, then stop. I knit for 5 years, then stop. I lift weights for 18 months, then stop. I write for a decade, then dry up. Sometimes I start these things again (knitting), sometimes I don't (lifting weights), sometimes I really want to, but can't seem to make myself (writing).
Tharp suggests not thinking but doing. Your alarm goes off and you put your feet on the floor. You are already wet in the shower before your mind registers the indignity of being awake before 6 am. You sit and the keyboard and press your fingers fast before you realize you're scared of sounding like an ass, worse yet, a bad writer.
Frankly, that habit's not enough. Not for me. I got tired of re-hashing my daily life in blog. No real reason why, though I could come up with a half-dozen half-truths, I suppose, if I were pressed. I want something that is not my daily life to sink my teeth deep into. I want a project to plan and to push around, to push out when it's ready. I have some vague ideas, blurry outlines, but nothing that's coalescing.
What I will do until then is collect what my eye catches. Maybe all the bits will be too different to bring together, maybe they'll form too neat a pattern. Maybe I'll bring all my bits together and they'll make a pattern that no one else could have seen, but that rings true for people just the same.