“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”
Runners run. Writers write. And some writers run. And some writers run around instead of writing. And sometimes, I’m one of them. How about you?
I know, I know, there are days when you get stir crazy sitting at your desk and you just need to get out and mingle. I work at home and just about everyone at Sunrise Bagels in a little plaza nearby knows my name, because I end up there more often than I should. More recently, since I launched this blog, I’ve been immersing myself in the writing life by attending a wide array of events, from a talk on historical fiction to a workshop on creating a sense of place. All of which is proving tremendously helpful – not just in giving me practical tools I can use and share, but in making me feel, well, writerly.
But recently I’ve realized that I could easily spend a lot more time going to events about writing than actually sitting down and writing. I’m sure you know the feeling. For everything, there is a season, to be sure. There are phases in our writing life or in the projects we’re working on when we need to dip into other people’s creative wells in order to fill our own. But all this hither-and-thithering can become very distracting – and that’s precisely why it’s so seductive.
In writing, though, we need to remember that the page is where we belong. How blessed we are! The work we do allows us to learn, read, reflect, and share. Let’s see this as a gift. Everything happens on the page: let’s embrace it, not escape it. And be brave enough to sit awhile and think — and then use our forward motion to take our writing where we want to go. Surely, Lorraine Hansberry followed her own advice and just look at the result: the beautiful play, A Raisin in the Sun.