River Rocks + A Hot Day DOES = Writing.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I added a border of river rocks to our back yard garden. That weekend, the temperatures approached 100 degrees, but I needed/wanted to be outside. It was a gorgeous day that promised a warm sun, a slightly cooler breeze, which we welcomed, and time outside with my husband.
Let me tell you, there is no quick way to lay rocks as a border except one rock at a time. I had to pick up each rock from the basket it was delivered in, put each rock in my little white bucket (about 12 rocks to each bucket,) push the dolly to the garden bed, and then unload and fit each rock securely into the dirt. A time consuming process to be sure.
At first, it was difficult to imagine how the border would look. I worried, if after lifting all these rocks (about 1200 lbs.) if I’d even like the way it looked. But little by little the border started to come together.
As the river-rock border meandered through my garden, so did my thoughts.
This is writing.
We write one word at a time. Some people write without a clear idea in mind, like me most of the time, while others create outlines that give them solid jumping off points. What both have in common is that they sit and write.
With dedication there are no short cuts.
At the end of a hot day working in my yard, my body was spent from heavy lifting, but my brain reeled with new ideas. I worked out plot lines. I figured out ways to manage my creative time. I played with poetic verses. I remembered why I write. And I spent quality time with my husband. I was energized.
The garden border was made one rock at a time.
Putting butt in chair, we write one word at a time.
Learn to love the process.
A great piece of advice I read is to find your own tribe. Find people who support you in your writing life. People who don’t judge but will give advice, listen, and inspire you to be better than you thought possible. I’ve found two groups on twitter that keep me writing. One is #1k1hr, for anyone who wants to try writing 1000 words in an hour, any day of the week. At the end of the hour you check in with progress made. You can jump in at any time. No official host. The other group is #WriteClub, host twitter account is @FriNightWrites. There are 30 minute writing sprints with a progress check at the end. Sprints run all day on Friday’s hosted by people all over the world for each time zone. Although, if you need some motivation during the week, you’ll always find sprinters ready to write. Plus, there’s my very own shiny new tribe, The Kinetic Writer Tribe, #tkwtribe. Check-in to chat about writing, creativity, and not staying stuck.
Whether you choose to join my tribe, or the countless others out there, it doesn’t matter, so long as you find the one that feels right for you. They’ll motivate and keep you accountable. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my in-person and online writing groups, which are both private and small in size, but irreplaceable in their safety and intimacy, are my rock.
And in case you were wondering, below is our garden at the end of a very long hot day. Like my writing, I’ll make adjustments, change it up, move things around, but eventually it will be finished.
Commit to the process. Even when the weight is heavy and you want to quit. If you put your butt in chair (the saying borrowed from Lynn Hightower’s class at UCLA) you’ll be surprised at what you can write.
Is there anything that’s helped you re-commit or energize your writing/creative life? Feel free to share by leaving a comment below.
butt in chair,