I returned to Anne Lamott’s words this week. I like her bottom line view of writing and life. In listening to her 2017 TED talk, I heard something I hadn’t noticed her say before, “Keep your butt in the chair.”
As spring reluctantly arrives in the mountains and snow melt runs like a stream down my road, I know that keeping my butt affixed to the chair will be difficult. Garden and flower beds already whisper to me to prepare them; pine cones and needles must be raked; so many outdoor things call to me in the spring. The cacophony increases steadily as more bare ground is revealed.
I remind myself of my profession and passion: writing. I remind myself that my fingers, my heart, my mind are all bursting with stories that need to be told. I remind myself that I write every morning because that is when my mind is most clear and expressive. I remind myself that good writing comes from a good writing practice. Respecting and loving my practice means devoting time and attention to it every day, like I would a lover.
I remind myself that I must turn off all the voices of distraction I hear. Not just the garden and yard and Brinkley wanting to walk or chase the ball. Most definitely, I must turn off the liar who whispers to me that I am not that good a writer, that I may never be published, that no one really understands this writing life I have chosen. (Actually, I know the writing life chose me, but “they” don’t understand that either.)
If Oprah and I were friends, she might ask me, “What do you know for sure?”
I know for sure I am a writer. So, with my butt in the chair and my fingers poised, I write. I keep a bottle of Gorilla glue close by, just in case I need a more permanent reminder to sit, to stay, to be a good writer. 🙂
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