Monday, August 15, 2011


I'm writing this on Friday even though it's posting today, Monday.  That's because I have big plans for Monday and they don't involve blog posts. 

I'm going to write.

Every summer about halfway through August I am overcome with the creeping sensation that whatever writing ability I thought I possessed was no more than an illusion, a figment of my imagination.  This feeling has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with day-to-day life.  By the time August rolls around I'm deeply enmeshed in the routine of summer.  We bike, we swim, we stay up late and watch So You Think You Can Dance.  It's lots of fun, but it doesn't leave any time for writing. 

Writing is not like riding a bike.  If I had to compare it to a sport, I'd say it's more like yoga.  It's a practice.  The more you write or do yoga, the more adept you become.  The minute you stop going to class or put aside your computer, all those muscles you've worked so hard to make supple quickly seize up and return to their former state. 

We practice yoga. 

We practice writing. 

I wrote two books and a gazillion short stories before I wrote Losing Beauty--all practice.

Anyway, today the house is quiet, the kids are at Camp Grandma and Grandpa so I'm parking myself back on my literary yoga mat.  Here's hoping that my brain and writing fingers will snap back into shape quickly.   

See you tomorrow because today I #amwriting.


Hart Johnson said...

Oh, very good analogy. It's very true that it is a current fitness state and we can lose it if we don't use it--that it takes a while to get back to it if we've been out of practice for a while. I hope you can really get back into it. I am strangely productive in the summer... a few of my obligations go away (school lunches mostly) and my kids are around and distracting me less when I'm home. I wrote a first draft in June and am almost done editing the second book--by the end of the month I hope my pair of agents is each working on their respective works--one for contract, one to sub.

February and March are my flounder months... those months when I am pouting about not living in Oregon because in Oregon we'd have snow drops, crocuses and daffodils, where in Michigan we have SNOW.

I have an award and meme for you today, by the way...

The Bookworm said...

Good for you Johanna! Good luck with your writing.

Laura Stanfill said...

Good luck! I just came back from a whole week of writing tucked away in a cabin, and now that I'm back online, I realize how important it's going to be to balance blogging and other online pursuits with actual writing. It was so blissful to wake up to full days of writing scenes, rewriting and brainstorming. Thankfully, when preschool starts in a month, I'll get several-hour chunks during the week, but in the meantime, I'm going to be prioritizing like crazy to keep writing daily, even if it's only a half-hour every morning.

Christine Murray said...

Good analogy, and I think self-doubt is the constant companion of the writer. I'm sure it's irritating that you aren't getting as much writing done as you would like, but you're putting quality time with your kids first and that's important. The years go by so fast, and anyway you have to live fully to write well.

SBJones said...

I agree, once you stop even for a short while it seems to take twice as long to get back into the swing of things.