Had a fun conversation at the Maryland Writers’ Conference this weekend… Another writer told me that she gets into a meditative state before she writes, and that the words flow more naturally and easily that way. She said that she’ll go back and read later and realize that she doesn’t even remember writing those words!
I started as a bit jealous. I’ve never had luck with meditation. My mind does not still. Spiral into deep self-doubt, self-loathing and clinical depression, sure. But still? No. We don’t do that in these parts.
But as she described her writing mindset, I realized that I am not that far from her described nirvana. I cannot meditate. Or at least I haven’t learned how yet. (I think any of us can learn to do absolutely anything we want to if we set our minds to it. This mindset, by the way, is something of a disease.) Anyway, I realized that I get up at 4:30 in the morning to write. At that hour, the house is utterly silent. The only sound is my fingers on the keyboard. My brain is not officially on because, let’s face it, it’s too fucking early. And so I too have the experience of coming back to those words later and thinking, “did I write that? That’s not half bad.” I think my meditative state is half-asleep (or half-awake, for you optimists). And I think that for me, that is the way I get this writing thing done.
And while that’s kind of artsy-fartsy and new-agey — saying that I connect with some quiet mind, thing bigger than me… I think it’s really just the reality of my situation. This is when I have time and peace to work.
And we all do what we can. If you’re trying to write, the point is — don’t let life get in the way. Find your peace and your time — even if it’s at 3:30 in the morning. I attended another writing conference where a writer (who has published about 45 books) said that when she was raising kids she would get up at 3:30, write for an hour and half, and then go back to sleep.
If you want it bad enough, you’ll find the time.