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Friday, October 21, 2011

“I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do---the actual act of writing---turns out to be the best part. It's like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.” —Anne Lamott

I think sometimes the goal of publishing, or the actuality of publishing, gets in the way of being able to enjoy the process. It clouds the reason you started writing in the first place. If publishing is your goal, or if you are already published, take care to separate that from the process of writing. This is part of being able to write with the door closed: Just you, the page, and the Muse.

Schedule time for the ‘tea ceremony’ – to engage with the written word. If you have deadlines or a busy schedule (who doesn’t?), it may not be as long as you like, but you can still schedule it. This is what writing practice was meant to be. Writing for the sake of writing. Playing with words, reveling in language and images and ideas. Consider making part of your writing ritual a few minutes of focused thought on the tea ceremony aspect before you begin writing. Time enough later to jump back into the fray and keep up with your social media networking and marketing and pitches and outlines and synopses.

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