The Writing Life

Every writer seems to have his or her favorite book of inspiration for the writing life. Some swear by The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron or Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott or Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Several other titles are available.

My personal favorite is a book of meditations for writers entitled Walking On Alligators by Susan Shaughnessy. What do I like best about it? It’s not just one author’s opinion.

Ms Shaughnessy starts each day with a quote from another author (or famous person); then applies or reflects on the quote, adding her own insights. Each day ends with a call to action.

The book is often on my desk since I use the daily meditations as a jump-start for my writing. The title is the only thing that’s ever been strange to me. But good appropriate titles are difficult to achieve.

If you’re a writer most likely no one has to tell you writing is hard.

Today is my normal day to write blog posts. So here I sit in my office, once again contemplating another post. But what in the world can I write about travel these days?

For that matter, what in the world can I write about anything of value during this current upheaval?

Details swirl about me: the latest news creating more panic over the coronavirus (the sky is falling once again—didn’t you know?) while at the same time the lack of trustworthy news information and the ever-present political tension leave everyone strained. These thoughts make it even more difficult to write.

Thank heavens for windows. What would we writers ever do without windows? From my vantage point, I glance outside at the surrounding neighborhood.

Good neighbors normally look out for others. They would never do harm to another. But now they won’t speak to other good neighbors because they have opposing political signs in their yards.

Now all I can think about are these good people on edge and it makes me sad.

How in the world does a person respond to this? How do I put all these thoughts and concerns into coherent helpful words? Saying I’m sad is useless and pretty lame.

The deadline for this blog post looms over me. I pace around my office while searching for just the right words to describe the strain. It’s like . . . it’s like . . . my glance lands on my desk.

It’s like walking on alligators.

You know what? Maybe Walking On Alligators is a good title for a book of meditations for writers.

What do you think? What are your thoughts about the writing life or the current climate in our dear country? Tell me about it in the comments below. Whether or not you tell me your thoughts, please pray for our country.

Until next time . . . Travel Light,
SuZan
© 2020 SuZan Klassen All Rights Reserved


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