“Your difficulties are not obstacles on the path, they are the path.” Ezra Bayda
Today, this quote from The Mindful Writer by Dinty W. Moore really jumped out at me. If only we could see any roadblocks that crop up during our writing sessions not as obstacles that are getting in our way, but as part of the writing process itself. How much easier dealing with them would be: they’d be friends instead of enemies, helps instead of hindrances.
How liberating this attitude shift can be! It can energize us and help us keep going instead of shunting us into feelings of discouragement and struggle. Here’s how Dinty describes his approach for handling a rough patch in his writing:
“It helps me to think that I have a certain number of bad sentences stacked up inside of me (many, many bad sentences, I’m afraid), and they have to come out, like the dried glue often found at the tip of the tube, the dried glue that has to be squeezed through the hole before you can access the good glue necessary to finish your current project.
“That may have been one of my bad sentences right there. It sounds rather chunky And this goofy glue metaphor may not be working at all.
“But here is what I mean: If I have to squeeze those bad sentences out of my brain, out of my metaphorical writing tube, then I better get at it, better start squeezing.
“With that logic, even the bad days are useful, even the obstacles are part of the path. Maybe I’m not writing anything worthy of preservation today, but if I am at my desk, writing, then I am making progress, because tomorrow, the tube will be emptied of bad sentences, and the good stuff can finally flow onto the page.”
Dinty’s glue stuck-in-a-tube may not be the most graceful of images about writing, but it’s the idea behind it that counts: If we can see the difficulties we encounter on the page not as obstacles in our path, but as part of the path itself, it can make all the difference.
So let’s unplug ourselves, get those bad sentences out and find the golden nuggets waiting for us farther down the road as we all write on!
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