One midwinter evening, I went to a talk given by a master gardener at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. This woman spoke for an hour while building miniature gardens, casually, as if with her mind on something else. She was not speechifying, just talking.
She mentioned her husband and daughters in passing—everything was part of everything else—while those gardens flew together under her hands. Her audience of about thirty-five people was rapt and silent.
That’s how to live your life, I thought, with all the pieces part of a whole.
I used to pretend the creative piece of myself did not matter. That did not work. The exhaustion I felt at the end of the day was the bad kind of tired, a sense of being drained and wanting to hide from the next day’s draining. It was not the good kind of tired that comes after labor on something wholly engaging.
In pursuit of the good kind of tired, I published one novel and then another. This year I set a goal to write more and publish faster.
For inspiration, two good books are If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland and Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. Ueland and Bradbury’s subject is passion, not success, though by kindling one, you may arrive at the other.
A terrific book for storytellers in any medium is The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall. We are, he says, hard-wired for story.
My nemesis is resistance. I do not understand resistance. Habit and routine are its enemies, but it is tough as a weed. What are your remedies for it?