Thursday, September 03, 2015

Habit

"First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice." - Octavia E. Butler

Several writing habits keep me involved in the practice. The first is an on-line writing group I joined back in 1999 after attending several writing workshops with Natalie Goldberg. A group of us formed an email list. We agreed to send eight ten-minute writing practices to each other. Eventually the list grew and now it is a listserv, but there are still a handful of us writing and sending these writes to each other.

This newsletter is another set of habits. Throughout the month I gather events that I see in the paper or other sources and individuals email events to me. On the first of the month I scan fifty to sixty websites for more events. On the third of the month, the day the newsletter is due, often at the last minute, I write an essay to include.

I rarely know what I will write about ahead of time. Sometimes I use a quotation to feed my thoughts. Other times I take the dog for a long, slow walk and an idea will form. And sometimes I do sitting meditation and allow an essay to arise that way. It's as if my body and mind know that it's the third of month, time for the essay, because only a few times when I've been in extreme emotional distress have I been at a loss for words. These habits have served me well.

What habits do you use to get the writing done? I'd love to hear about them.

2 comments:

B. WHITTINGTON said...

I'm not getting any writing done presently. Not sure why. Decided i needed to stop trying so hard. I need to take more walks, learn more about meditation and start yoga again. I've been pushing myself to do more, write write write. Sometimes I think we need to step away and allow ourselves to think of other thngs. Maybe that very absence primes the pump. Always always enjoy your newsletters and esp the quotes. I shared the quote on my site after I read it. Now to form some new habits that open myself to more words. Thanks much, Barb

Nita said...

Fallow periods are required. I just have to be careful not to lay low too long or I begin to fester and rot! I hope your well is re-filling nicely.