From Kate’s Writing Crate…
I’m ready to write. I’ve set aside time to write. I’m sitting in front of my computer, but I’m not writing…yet.
It’s frustrating when I’m ready to write essays but nothing comes to mind. The only thing more frustrating when it comes to writing is when I have thoughts, ideas, or sentences in my head, but can’t write them down because I’m too busy doing something else.
I sit here waiting for thoughts to come, my muse to visit, or for some glimmer of an idea. Too distract myself from becoming more frustrated, I look around my office.
On the shelves of a nearby bookcase, I have a favorite pair of small watercolor paintings of the same stand of maple trees—one done in the greens of spring and one in the golds and reds of fall. They are serene and beautiful. They also capture the passing of time.
Time is the resource most writers need and most writers waste. If you have the time to write, then write. Keep going even when it is painful prying words out of your head. Eventually something will click. The flow of words will increase. The writing will become less painful.
In the rare cases when it doesn’t, I flip though one of my monthly notebooks looking for a phrase or an idea that inspires me to write now. I also keep a running list of topic ideas at the end of the list of all the posts I’ve written.
I write as long as I can, but if the words don’t start to flow I find it’s better to stop and take a walk or tidy up a room. Inspiration often strikes when I’m not writing. If I’m lucky, it strikes while I still have time to go back to writing at my computer. If not, I jot my ideas down in a notebook planning for my next writing session.
The best writing happens when I’m in the zone. I have an idea and just go with it. It seems so easy. However, sometimes writing is really hard work. I’m prepared with topics, but inspiration doesn’t always take the bait so I have to dig deep to uncover something else to tempt my muse. It’s worth the effort, but can be excruciating.
The reality is the more you write the less often writing is painful. But when it is painful, work through it. You will never get this time back so be ready to make the most of it—whatever it takes.
Below is an example of recycled writing mentioned in post dated 5/2/16. I wrote the essay for today's blog first. The recycled and yet new essay below appeared on my magazine’s facebook page.
On the shelves of a bookcase in my office, I have a favorite pair of small watercolor paintings of the same stand of maple trees—one done in the greens of spring and the other in the golds and reds of fall. They are serene and beautiful. They also capture the passing of time.
Time is the resource most of us need, but most of us waste. These watercolors remind me I’m in my office to work. The sooner I finish, the sooner I can spend time on other—sometimes more fun—stuff.
Since most of us have to work, it’s the downtime that we get to allocate. We prioritize family, friends, hobbies, TV shows, music, chores, errands, etc. Then there are unplanned emergencies or other surprises. Do we ever get this balance right?
It would be nice if there were a savings bank for time. If we mow the lawn faster or fold the laundry quicker, we could sock those minutes away for another day, build up balances so we could be at every birthday party, dance recital, game, or get together.
Since there isn’t a way to save time for another day, we are left to make the most of our time the best we can. It’s important to remember to enjoy the moments when we love exactly where we are and who we are with. These memories sustain us when we can’t be there.
I read somewhere that Leap Day should be a worldwide holiday. It’s a bonus day. It should be treated with reverence and spent doing fun things we never have enough time for with the people we love.
In fact, I think every holiday should be that way so make time for your mom this Mother’s Day. She spends a lot of time caring for and thinking about you. Return the favor.
Memorial Day deserves our time, too. Line the town parade route on May 30 at 10am. Visit a military site or cemetery. These veterans gave not just their time to us; they gave their lives. There is no greater gift so remember and honor them and their loved ones.
We wouldn’t have the freedom to choose how we spend our time without their sacrifice. Thank you to all of them as well as all veterans and active military personnel.