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Monday, 11 October 2010

You Gotta Get To That Place, Where You Really Wanna Be

Writing only really takes place, when you're really immersed in it. When you forget about your back problem, and you forget about your Facebook addiction, and you forget that you have to be somewhere in an hour. That's how you need to write, and that's how magic happens. That's how your imagination really knows you've clocked in. If you're distracted, you're not really there.

Think of William Shakespeare, sitting down to write. Would he have achieved what he achieved if he was also thinking about writing a Twitter update about his dinner? I don't think so.

Writing is really about getting back to who you are, who you've been, and what it is you need to say right now. But you can't really figure out what to say, you can't really make the choices-- it needs to come from a place you're not really conscious of. What you really need to say, you don't really know. You just need to do the writing. But you gotta get to that place. You gotta allow for it. You need to find a way to get your brain there-- whatever it is, loud Metallica records, or complete silence, or sitting in a coffee house, or laying on your back on the rooftop -- you HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO get to that place where you can flow magically between thought and dreaming, when your characters and stories and knowledge and instincts just glide in and out of each other.

You're probably thinking "I know, but how?" -- I don't exactly know how, but I just know, most of the time, we're not even trying. Don't allow for things to get in the way. Don't start the washing just as you're about to write, don't start to write just as you're due to pick the kids up from school. Find the time, decide on it --- and be present. Be there. Don't put pressure on yourself--- remember a WRITER is what you are. Go into the moment. Have fun. And let me know how it goes.

Care to share?


  1. I shall toss my computer out, then. I like typewriters better, anyway.


  2. Right on! Stay "connected": with your art, that is.

  3. A very encouraging and extremely welcome post, thanks.

  4. I can't help but think of the dialogue between Robin Williams and Matt Damon in GOOD WILL HUNTING... when he points out that Damon might know every book, cover to cover, but he doesn't know what life is like without having loved and lost, etc.

    I agree with the sentiment, but the choice to use twitter or what not too much is something to do with your personality - either it is who you are (and may stop you from reaching your dreams) or it will be one part of many aspects to your life and a welcome break mid-writing.

    Its all about the reason why - why are you checking your facebook? to pass time/waste time thus stopping your development as an artist ... or is it there a purpose to the visit and won't affect your writing...

    You wouldn't want to chastise yourself everytime you are doing something you like doing because its not factoring into your 'dream'... everything in moderation ...

  5. Your posts are so inspiring. You always manage to lightly kick people in the butt to get going on making their dreams happen while not making them feel judged for not having done it yet. Very delicate balance - but you ride it quite nicely.


  6. Awesome post. And you're absolutely right - it's so hard to turn off the noise, whether it's in your head or around you. Thanks for the encouraging words!