Do you ever find that you are not in the mood to write? That you’d rather just sit and veg out, or sleep, or stare at a blank wall? That you’d rather do anything other than fire up the laptop? Do you have days where writing or blogging seem like a gargantuan effort and you feel paralyzed?
In The Right to Write, Julia Cameron explains:
Being in the mood to write, like being in the mood to make love, is a luxury that isn’t necessary in a long-term relationship. Just as the first caress can lead to a change of heart, the first sentence, however tentative and awkward, can lead to a desire to go just a little further. All of us have a sex drive. All of us have a drive to write.
And later in the chapter, which is aptly titled “Mood”:
Doing it all the time, whether or not we are in the mood, gives us ownership of our writing ability. It takes it out of the realm of conjuring where we stand on the rock of isolation, begging the winds for inspiration, and it makes it something as do-able as picking up a hammer and pounding a nail. Writing may be an art, but it is certainly a craft. It is a simple and workable thing that can be as steady and reliable as a chore– does that ruin the romance?
There are days when I love the blank screen and the blinking cursor, and there are days when I feel it taunting me. I find that as Ms. Cameron suggests, typing out one sentence can bring me to the story and get me going, even though that first sentence feels a lot more like work than romance. Still, sometimes those few barfed up words are enough to put me into that writing trance.
Do you know the trance of which I speak? Have you ever been writing, with no idea of the time or your surroundings, and then revisit your physical being and realize you are breathing deep, long, yoga-like breaths? Or look at the clock and discover that an hour has passed which felt like mere minutes? Or check your word count and realize you banged out 800 words without effort?
It happens like that for me. It’s existentially delightful.
Whether or not you start off “in the mood,” the littlest effort can put you right into that trance where you transform from that harried parent, disgruntled worker, and busy earthly creature into “Writer.” Which I, as someone who loves to write, think may be one of the best feelings in the world.
Thanks for reading. If you are interested, here’s a link to my previous post discussing Julia Cameron’s wonderful book. Keep writing 🙂