Making the Time to be Quiet and Write

You write by sitting down
and writing.
Bernard Malamud

Sounds easy enough, but those of us who write know there’s more to it than that.  Endless distractions can pull us away from our writing.  Then a few days, turn into weeks, months, or more of not writing, and our initial excitement turns to dread.

The only way to break that cycle is to follow Mr. Malamud’s advice:

Sit down and write.

If you have a hard time motivating yourself to do that, join The Silent Writer’s Collective for a Silent Write-In, a weekly online writing retreat that helps writers put aside distractions and write.

By committing to a group effort, (think Weight Watchers or NaNoWriMo) many writers find it’s easier to stay motivated and reach goals.  Writing, as we’ve heard ad nauseum, is a solitary endeavor, but sharing our efforts with a group makes it easier, and can help us reach our writing goals.

Our next retreat is tomorrow night, Tuesday, January 17, at 9 PM EST (US), if there’s interest, we’ll also meet at 9 PM PST.  We start on time with a minute or two of hellos, then the “buzzer” sounds and we start writing.  You can work on your own writing project, or use one of the provided writing prompts or exercises to get started.

We meet via Twitter using the hashtag #SilentWriters. If you aren’t on Twitter, we have a group on Facebook. If you don’t have either, just join in on your own at 9, and know you’re not working out there on your own.

For more information, check out the SWC FAQs.

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Monday Motivator: Erica Jong gets Subversive

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it … It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.
— Erica Jong
“How to Save Your Own Life”

♥  ♥  ♥
Happy Valentine’s Day

The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote to share, let me know and I’ll post it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: Erica Jong, The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: Running in the Cathedral

Image courtesy of Vainsang on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the images will inspire you to write a journal entry, a poem, a blog post.  Maybe you’ll be inspired to go out for a run, or maybe you’ll just sit back and enjoy the photo.   Whatever your response, I hope you enjoy the picture and that it inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post

Beating Real Life Writing Obstacles

Most writers I know face the same obstacle in reaching their writing goals.

Real Life.

How many times have we made a commitment to our selves and to our writing, only to have to put that commitment aside and tend to dear daughter’s science project, dear husband’s broken down car, or dear boss’s last minute work project.  These aren’t excuses, they’re real life.  And it often becomes too easy to put our writing aside while all the other responsibilities in our lives take precedence.

Jamie Lee Wallace, aka Suddenly Jamie on Live to Write — Write to Live, knows the drill.  She set some writing goals for 2011.  But,” she says, ” these intentions were all summarily slaughtered by the demands of my Real Life.”

She decided not to be done in by the slaughter.  After some serious thinking, she came up with 7 Steps to Better Writing Habits. Here’s what she had to say:

A confession and 7 steps to better writing habitsI’m experiencing a bad case of writing resolutions whiplash. At the start of 2011, I was all revved up and ready to plunge into my writing practice like a pelican diving head first into an ocean seething with slippery, silvery deliciousness. I had plans – Big Plans. “This is the year,” I said, my heart full of confidence and enthusiasm. And then my daughter came down with the flu. And then I came down with the flu. We had a succession of snow day … Read More

Resources: Live to Write – Write to Live, The Daily Post

Inspiration Points for Silent Writers’ Retreat

Every Tuesday at 9 pm, the literary world goes silent.

Hmm, that’s overstating it.  Let me try again.  … Every Tuesday at 9 pm, the literary world observes an hour of silence.

No, no.  Too much.  Here’s what happens … Every Tuesday at 9 pm EST and PST, writers who find it difficult making time to write join together for an hour of silent writing.

The Silent Writers Collective hosts a weekly online silent retreat for all writers who want to commit a minimum of one hour to writing.  If you’re interested in participating, join us at 9 EST and PST on Twitter or Facebook.

You can work on your own project or use one of the exercises provided below.

If the time doesn’t suit you, choose another time, just one hour and make a commitment to your writing.  It’s worth it.

For more information, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources: The Daily Post

Monday Motivator: Rudolf Nureyev

Nureyev
Image via Wikipedia

◊ ◊ ◊

Technique
is what you
fall back on
when you
run out of
inspiration.

Rudolf Nureyev
Ballet dancer

◊ ◊ ◊

 

The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote to share, let me know and I’ll share it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: Rudolf Nureyev The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: Money

Image courtesy of Stephend9 on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a weekly photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the images will inspire you to write a short crime drama, a haiku, a blog post.  Maybe you’ll be inspired to call your bookie, or maybe you’ll just sit back and enjoy the photo.   Whatever your response, I hope you enjoy the picture and that it inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post

Remember Me? from ThirtyCreativeStudio

Remember Me?
by Deborah Deck-Suárez

I was the water on your hands,
the shine of your days,
a lonely companion
for your times without hope.
I was the salt of your sea,
the strength of your arms,
a thought without sense
vanishing within me. … Read More

I’m sharing this poem by Deborah Deck-Suárez at ThirtyCreativeStudio because tonight, when I needed to be (should have been) writing, I was doing the old point and click around the web.  I ended up at Deb’s site and found this poem.  I was so inspired by the beauty of her words, and by the strong sense of connection, then loss, then longing conveyed in those few short lines, that I clicked off the internet and started writing.

Thanks, Deb!

Resources: The Daily Post

Prompt-a-Palooza for Silent Writers

If you’re a writer finding it difficult to make time for writing, think about joining the Silent Writers Collective tonight for its weekly online silent retreat.  All writers are welcome to join in at 9 EST and PST and commit an hour (more if you want) to their art.

You can work on your own project or use one of the exercises provided below.

For more information, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources: The Daily Post

Monday Motivator: Gertrude Stein

Stein Gertrude 1935
Gertrude Stein via Wikipedia

◊ ◊ ◊

“To write is
to write is
to write is
to write is
to write is
to write is
to write.”

– Gertrude Stein

◊ ◊ ◊

Today’s Monday Motivator is from Gertrude Stein, whose birthday is this week on February 3, 1874.  Much of Ms. Stein’s work, like the quote above, can be mistaken for silly or senseless.  Some critics called her work elitist and arrogant, but Stein played with words the way another artist would play with her medium.

Friend and patron Mabel Dodge Luhan described it like this:

“In Gertrude Stein’s writing every word lives and, apart from concept, it is so exquisitely rhythmical and cadenced that if we read it aloud and receive it as pure sound, it is like a kind of sensuous music.  Just as one may stop, for once, in a way, before a canvas of Picasso, and, letting one’s reason sleep for an instant, may exclaim: ‘It is a fine pattern!’ so, listening to Gertrude Steins’ words and forgetting to try to understand what they mean, one submits to their gradual charm.”

The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote to share, I’d love to include it.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: The World of Gertrude Stein, The Daily Post