Thursday, November 09, 2006

On Writing - Advice to Myself

Yesterday's post was a neon sign flashing !!!Alert!!! Blockhole ahead!!! I hear the sirens and know that if I don't act now, I'll slide down that fog-filled tunnel into a very familiar place. So I'm picking at the knot, as it were, of my writing issues.

Two words came to me yesterday after I posted, and I was trying to figure out what was different when the words and ideas flowed. Commitment....Courage. When the writing is going well, I am committed to whatever it is I'm working on. And when I'm committed, I have the courage to say it my way, willy nilly of censors in my head.

Courage can be forced, I think. It can be as chain mail that one puts on, an act that enables one to go into battle. But commitment? How is it possible to make a grim determination to be committed? I must, I must, I must increase my...commitment. This is what I've done in the past, stayed at the computer, glued myself to the seat, hoping to break through. I can't bear to go through that again. It only works intermittantly, and it leaves me feeling such a failure.

So, how else to get 'round this commitment issue. Are there breathing exercises I can do? Yoga, perhaps? I've tried the gamut, it seems to me. I've done Morning Pages from The Artist's Way and zen sitting from Writing Down the Bones. I've taken Bird by Bird as my mantra, used it as a screen saver, in fact. They all work as well as they work, which is to say that they can't infuse commitment. It has to be there or the writing just fizzles out like a day old soda.

Or--can it be that one can fake commitment until it's real? Is it possible to commit intellectually and wait for the emotion to follow? Isn't this how arranged marriages work? Isn't this actually where the grit and hard work of any relationship lies?

I'm still trying to figure this out...

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you can fake commitment, the same way you can improve your mood by acting like a happy, well-adjusted person until you become one.

    Well, happy, anyway.

    See also, "Whistle a happy tune."


So--whaddaya think?