Overly Pretentious Reflections on the Craft of Writing

Or, what I’m thinking about now.

I am coming to the realization, in this month of slow writing, that it is easier to write more than it is to write less. The mindset of writing takes time to get into, the less often you slip into it, the longer it takes – at least that seems to be the case for me. For the past two months it was nothing for me to sit down and sit 4-500 words in a go. All this month its been like pulling teeth to get that much in a sitting, and its easy to see why. I was practicing everyday, writing everyday, being in that place that the words come to. This month I have been somewhere else entirely. I will go days in a row without putting a single thought to the proverbial page, which in turn makes it that much harder to do when it comes time to do it.

To put it in a dramatic analogy, it’s as though writing were the act of digging a well. The words are the water that you want to get at, but supply is limited. If you dig everyday, you go deeper and the water remains plentiful, but if you let days go by without digging, the well goes dry and you have all the more digging ahead of you to reach the water again. In a sense this even applies to the eternal question: Where do your ideas come from? Everyone that asks that question is hoping for a divining rod, they want to know exactly where to start digging, rather than just starting the process of digging.

The water is everywhere, but you have to be digging to find it.

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