Learning My Lesson–Again!

Week One of Classes: I survived. The students survived. And I’m sure we all went home on Friday night relieved that the first week was over and feeling a lot better about next Monday morning.

And the writing, Heather? Okay. Not so good there. I completely lost track of the mindset that would have helped me do some writing last week. I forgot that, in order to get any writing done when I’m busy, I have to stop thinking about writing a story, but instead think about writing in smaller pieces. Sadly, I sit down thinking that I really need to get that story written, and then I freeze because I don’t have the time or the ability or the energy to concentrate through such a complicated process. I can type, but I certainly can’t create.

Today, I finally came in for a landing and remembered the lesson I’d learned before about all this, and now, I’m ready to face another busy week that will include writing on terms I can cope with. The lesson is in this quote from Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird:

“I go back to trying to breathe, slowly and calmly, and I finally notice the one-inch picture frame that I put on my desk to remind me of short assignments. It reminds me that all I have to do is to write down as much as I can see through a one-inch picture frame. This is all I have to bite off for the time being.”

I don’t have the time to write the story, but I can write a small part of it–one scene, one moment, one character description, one brainstorming page of scribbles to work through a plot point. I can research something, or journal to clear my head. All good. All doable. If I remember the one-inch picture frame.

I’m IMG_1563going to reread this blog by Kristi Holl, too. “Chop! Chop! Writing in 20 Minute Slices.” If you’re having trouble feeling like a writer when life gets crazy, you might want to read it, too.

Hope you have a great week and that you find the time you need, even if only  a few minutes at a time, to feel like a writer.

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