Fragile Ideas Needs Loving Every Day, Walter Mosley (NY Times re-post)


"Reality fights against your dreams, it tries to deny creation and change. The world wants you to be someone known, someone with solid ideas, not blowing smoke. Given a day, reality will begin to scatter your notions; given two days, it will drive them off.

The act of writing is a kind of guerrilla warfare; there is no vacation, no leave, no relief."

I just reread this wonderful Walter Mosley essay on why writers must write every day. His advice is clear and wise; imbued with a great love for the craft. (See link below.)

When I was single, Sunday afternoons were quiet (and often painful). I didn't want to be alone with families enjoying the park or couples at movies. So, I'd open the windows and let in the breeze. The cat would move to a patch of sun near the front door. Maybe a little jazz played quietly in the background. I'd pull the work-in-progress up on the screen and reread what I'd written the previous Sunday. It took a while before the characters would allow me back in; often they hid around corners, voices mute. By the time I'd found my stride, the stars were shining and my stomach was complaining over a missed dinner.

In this way, the work limped three steps forward, two steps back but often, help! it vanished. At which point, the piece was abandoned for a shiny, new project. (I have seven unfinished novels hidden in a documents folder somewhere on my laptop.)

When I finally made a determination to write every day, and set a specific writing time, like a job, that could not be interrupted by texts, phone calls (even from a wonderful boyfriend), or a season premiere of my favorite TV show, characters slowly emerged from the fog. I heard their voices. Often, they danced. Stories took form. Novels were written.

Now, I write a little every day. (Except Sunday afternoon, because I go to the park or the movies with my wonderful boyfriend.)

There is no greater way to respect the work and the craft (and ourselves), then to write a little every day.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did. Fragile Ideas Need Loving Every Day, by Walter Mosley, NY Times July 3, 2000.

Happy Writing!

Staci

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