On Tuesday a writer friend and I were looking at each other’s work, just some fragments from a prompt. The conversation drifted to the challenge of finding enough time to write…those slivers of free minutes among parenting, work, job search, school, and all the big and little demands that comprise a life. How is our energy best spent? Am I stealing time from my child, my spouse? Doubt edges in. Is writing even worth it?
The short answer is yes. HELL, YES. We picked up this conversation again in an email. I talked about the publishing industry and then music…and how it’s worth carving out your place, whatever your artistic medium. Writing, artistic pursuit, is about process and discovery and connection. But here’s the thing – even apart from all that, writing is just something I have do. It’s something I’ve never been able to stop doing. It is essential to my life. Writing and connecting with other writers, talking about process and craft, talking about art and life, it lights me up. It’s who I am.
If you are some kind of writer, if you are some kind of artist, mostly what you’re doing is, you’re bricklaying. You’re taking a brick and you’re putting it place. And you’re taking another brick, and you’re putting it in place. No one’s going to do it for you. Elves will not come in the night. So if you do not put down all of these bricks, the wall will never get built. And if the wall is never built, the rest of the structure will never get built. It won’t exist. So you pick up another brick. And you put it down. Then you pick up another brick. And you put it down. And that’s how you build the temple of art.
This daily practice feels exactly like that – bricklaying. Every day, I pick up another brick. And I put it down. Ten days of bricklaying and I’ve already connected with other writers, had dozens of meaningful exchanges and conversations, and I’ve gotten more writing done in these last ten days than in the last six months. So, I will keep on. I will pick up another brick, and I will put it in place.