Monday, October 26, 2009

Sit and Listen

I seem to keep coming back to this book--Walking on Alligators. Most likely, it is because it is the only book I am taking time to read at the moment. However, the short meditations are the perfect way to start my day. So, here is a thought for you all as you embark on a new day and new writing week.

"Today, I will sit and listen. I won't mind if the work is slow or stuck. I will believe that the words I am meant to write are on their way to me."

Here's to all of us finding the words needed to have a productive day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar

Do any of you use the Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar? I did so in 2008 and purchased it again for 2009. While it has been extremely helpful to have a calendar specifically for my writing and writing-related activities, the snippets of information gained from the authors' interviews have been awesome. One particularly good one recently was that of Cindy Allen, a writer and pilot who lives in Missouri. In her interview, she talked of sleepwalking through the motions of daily activities and reminding herself to be aware of the present.

She says..."Walking past story ideas happens when the brain is on autopilot. I've found that writing realistic stories begins by disconnecting the autopilot and actively observing life around me."

Reading this created a profound, "duh" moment as Margie Lawson would call it. All too often, it is so easy to get caught up and carried away by life's events and activities rather than paying attention and using them to our advantage. I, for one, am very guilty of switching my writer's hat on and off and not paying attention to the present and all it offers. So, I am going to make a concerted effort to focus on the present and pay attention to the story possibilities around me regardless of which hat I am wearing at the moment--writer, speech path, mom, wife, etc. Here's to the demise of my brain on autopilot! Thank you Cindy Allen and Sylvia Forbes for putting together such a great planner.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I am reminded frequently, especially the older I get, of the importance of writing things down. All too often, I don't have a pen and paper handy and believe, erroneously, my idea is so awesome there is no way I'll forget it. And, all too often, it is just a fleeting and unattainable fragment of my original thought when I do get to that pen and paper. As I was reading my daily meditations this morning in Walking on Alligators, I read the following and had a major aha moment.

"Opportunity just exists in the air for a few minutes. If you don't obey your gut feeling right away, you've lost your chance." Ken Hakuta penned these wise words.

I've resolved to keep handy a pen and paper as ideas do tend to present themselves at annoying and seemingly disorganized times--bath time for the kids, school pick up, middle of the night, mid shower, etc.

Per this passage, "Today, I'll snatch my hunches out of the air and jot them down, however hurriedly. They are part of my capital as a writer."