“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Anyone struggling with the process of writing, and coming across this well-known quote by Ernest Hemmingway, might feel even more anxious about their writing than they did before reading it.
Anne Lamott doesn’t make the writing process sound any easier.
“You sit down at approximately the same time every day. You put a piece of paper in the typewriter, or turn on your computer…and then you stare at it for an hour or so. You begin rocking, just a little at first, and then like a huge autistic child. You look at the ceiling, and over at the clock, yawn, and stare at the paper again….. But you hold an imaginary gun to your head and make yourself stay at your desk.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by bird.
These quotes make writing sound like a terrifically hard slog. Like writing with a capital W.
Anne Lamott goes on to say,
“I wish I felt that kind of inspiration more often. I almost never do. All I know is that if I sit there for long enough, something will happen.”
Writing appears to be a process that is filled with Drama… And we writers love Drama, don’t we?
When it comes to writing, it’s best to keep the drama on the page and out of your writing process. Because then writing becomes writing without a capital W. It becomes a pleasurable, and very do-able, activity.
Like with everything else in my life, I firmly believe that my thoughts create my experience. And so I use my thoughts to create my writing experience as well.
I always tell myself that writing is enjoyable, that I am filled with creative ideas and that writing is easy. That doesn’t mean it’s quick, or that it’s perfect, or that it isn’t work. It simply means that I approach my writing time with a sense of ease and relaxation, rather than with anxiety and tension.
“This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
I do exactly that. I sit down and do what is required – but I do it with a positive attitude. Sometimes I plan with pen and paper, sometimes I write. Sometimes I delete and edit, other times it’s going right back to the drawing board and starting over. But all of these aspects of writing are normal parts of the writing process, and can be done with a sense of ease and confidence.
And why not? Writing, like any other art form, does require work. But you can choose how to get the work done. You can choose to get bogged down in all the drama that surrounds writing, or you can simply sit down and write, one word at a time.
(Anne Lamott’s book is a brilliant one, by the way, and filled with great wisdom. Read it when you get a chance. (Bird by bird: Some instruction of writing and life.))
Before you go:
If you’re interested in writing, why not hop over to my Skillshare classroom where I offer several writing courses as well as Art Journaling ones. You can click on the links below;-)
10 Ways to Develop Your Story Idea
6 Fun Creative Writing Hacks
Intuitive Development for Writers