Tension is at the Heart

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Of all good writing. What is at stake in yours?

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Don’t Get Slipped Up

Even the discarded bits of life can be distracting. Don’t let anything occupy those precious moments carved out for writing.

slipping book

Obligations and people demand time. If they love you, they will understand. “‘It is only half an hour’—‘it is only an afternoon’—‘it is only an evening’—people say to me over and over again—but they don’t know that it is impossible to command oneself sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes—or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometimes worry a whole day. These are the penalties paid for writing books. Whoever is devoted to an Art must be content to deliver himself wholly up to it, and find his recompense in it. I am grieved if you suspect me of not wanting to see you, but I can’t help it.” —Charles Dickens (writing to Maria Beadnell Winter, a childhood sweetheart, who wished to make an appointment with him)

Pause to Process Before Putting to Page

Certain thoughts demands immediate, spontaneous expression, others unfurl so slowly no single point of creation is detectable.  Writing is like this; some inpirations require a long, hot soak.

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“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” Sylvia Plath