Through the days since I first wrote about early morning writing and how to carve out more writing time, I had indeed been writing more. Early morning writing branched out to writing on a gratitude journal. Then I found my brain “itching” to write a haiku a day in a smaller notebook. For a few months last year, I tried to write a small stone a day, mainly because I felt incapable of writing a haiku a day.
After a few weeks of writing a haiku a day, I read a tanka from a blog and I said to myself, “I want to write that too!” Then I encountered and fell in love with haibun, and my writing days have never been the same. Life literally changed for me when I began writing a haiku, a tanka and a haibun a day. Throw in the six word memoir, which is like icing on the cake. Today’s six word memoir is: Writing has now become sheer joy.
The first hour of my days are spent in writing. Although I also abstained from these for a few days, now I am back and it feels like reuniting with old friends. Early morning writing now consists of free writing and writing a haiku, a tanka, and a haibun. And this new ritual makes my soul sing every morning.
I had not been as successful with writing by prearrangement. I somehow could never set an exact time to write. It just didn’t seem possible to do without much struggle, so I gave it up. I love Dorothea Brande, but I also know that when something does not appeal to me, it’s best not to struggle with myself about it. I think that it has much to do with personality – routine does not appeal to me, which is why I recently abstained from my early morning writing ritual. I need spontaneity – lots of it – in my life.
But something else took the place of writing by prearrangement. I am on the 18th day of writing about the view from my window. I wish had come up with that idea myself, but I actually “encountered” the challenge while reading Barbara Abercrombie’s book, Courage & Craft, Writing Your Life Into Story. Abercombie has “To Do” sections scattered throughout her book and the one on page thirteen appealed to me so much I took it to heart:
TO DO: Try writing a description of what’s outside your window for twenty-one days. Train your eye as if you were looking through a camera or had a paintbrush in your hand.
I have been writing about the view from the two windows in front of my computer for 18 days now. I write the entries in Oh Life, and I plan to post my journal entries about the view from my windows in my other blog. I write an entry at different times of the day – whenever I can. It’s a great, challenging practice and an amazing one – I never realized how writing about the same view every single day can bring out so much from one’s psyche – including wisdom and buried feelings. I confess I had not used my words neither as a camera nor as a paintbrush. So far, my daily dates with the view outside my windows have become therapy sessions – the therapist in me still at work. Nevertheless, it’s been truly rewarding, and I highly recommend this challenge.
Although I continue to work as an energy therapist, it seems that my writing life is truly coming alive. I have received writing assignments again from a publisher I worked with a couple of years ago. My gratitude journal gets filled up at night, and the dream journal comes out of its hiding place whenever my psyche decides to talk to me in dreams. I have a private blog at WordPress.com about my spiritual life, and I post as often as I can. As if all these writing weren’t enough, writing ideas come filtering through – titles for blog posts, for books, for more blogs. I take notes as best and as often as I can, but through the years, I have trained my brain to take mental notes, so most of the ideas are in my head.
A couple of days ago, the idea for a book came to me on the way to a house call. First the title, then the words for a few pages just came tumbling out. Fortunately, I wasn’t driving. Actually, I make it a point to drive less these days. I’ve been having more and more writing ideas coming through every now and then. I’ve never had this experience before, and all I can say is that it seems that the saying, “Writing begets more writing,” is true. But then again, I’ve been journaling copiously through more than two decades, worked as feature writer for fifteen years, yet it is only now that I am experiencing this “deluge.” Perhaps it’s because I’m doing different kinds of writing now, unlike before when I used to do only journaling and feature writing. I really don’t know.
It’s a great feeling though and I wish this wouldn’t stop. This is one experience I wish all of you would one day be able to enjoy. Earlier, as I was writing about my inability to do writing by prearrangement, a small voice inside me said I shouldn’t give it up without trying. So I won’t. I’ll try tomorrow to set a writing appointment with myself. More time for writing. Great!
I leave you with some entries from my journals. Happy writing!
Another nocturnal date with the windows. I see the same faint lines with only my bedroom lights on. Earlier this morning, I was intent on writing as I viewed the windows, but life got in the way.
I realized as I was on the way home that my life is much like the plants in the backyard. A merry tumble and tangle. No design, seemingly haphazard, yet in a deep sense, full of purpose. All my plans and dreams for the backyard had fizzled out. Just as my dreams for my life had to be given up, until they disappeared. Yet, there is a deep fulfillment as I live each day. My days are haphazard too – schedules made, cancelled, new ones taking their places. It’s a merry dance without predetermined steps. And I love it. I am beginning to love the backyard too.
Dark days are bright days
when we see the challenges.
Life, the great teacher.
Now I find silence
Even in the midst of noise.
There is silence there,
Hidden in between the sounds.
Precious, little bits of peace.
Early Morning Writing
I sit down to write before I face the world. A ritual that sets time apart, sets me apart from the world. It is as though I enter a magical dome where words become my teachers, friends, lovers. Like a dream,the memory of the ritual fades as the day goes by. But it centers me in a way that lasts, till I close my eyes to welcome rest and sleep.
The rituals of our lives
are magical moments.
Photo Courtesy of Alvimann