I'm a little behind. This post is meant for the second day of December. Eek. Our power was on and off so much yesterday that it just didn't work out.
Here's the prompt:
December 2 - Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)
This is an interesting one for me because I feel like there are a thousand things a day that keep me from my writing, but those aren't the things that keep me from my writing, if you know what I mean. Wait- was that confusing?
I make food for kids, I homeschool, I do laundry, I spend time with friends and in community circles, I clean I clean I clean. And all of this time, I am not writing. The moments of actual writing make up a very small trickle of my life. But I don't consider these things to be keeping me from writing. (On good days.) Every moment that I spent in an Indian market buying groceries is a moment that I am closely observing, something I can use. Same with spending time with my kids. They have worlds more imagination than me. They are my imagination teachers.
*A quick example: I asked Leafy if he was the one who went around the house and closed all the windows in the middle of the morning. The only time we close our windows is during mosquito hour at dusk. His answer? "I heard a sandstorm coming!" Well, there is a story. I want to hear a sandstorm coming in a place where there are no sandstorms. If I could, I'm sure that I would write better."
So those are the things that keep me from writing and don't keep me from writing and can I eliminate them? A short, clear answer: no.
Doubt is what keeps me from writing.
When I doubt that I am any good at writing, I can't write. When I doubt that I should be writing, I can't write. When I doubt my characters, I freeze up. When I doubt the act of blogging, I can't find words for the page.
It is impossible to live without faith, and it is impossible to write without faith. Can I eliminate doubt? I think that my best writing comes when I forget my questions and forget myself entirely and just write, feverishly and excitedly. I can try to keep my slippery thoughts off of myself.