CRAFT

Writing Is Like Surfing or Don’t Be A Dumb Baby

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The next time you have a bad writing day, visualize a dumb baby on a beach. 

Perhaps I should explain. 

The other day I decided there just wasn’t enough sand in my ass so I went to the beach. There, sitting on the wet shore, was a chubby little baby digging her hands into the sand, her back to the ocean.  I watched as the child’s eyes lit up and excitement surged through her entire body when the water rushed up around her.  Pure joy. 

Then the wave retreated and I saw how devastated she was when the water rushed away leaving her alone in the sand. You could tell that she was scared, that she was sad, that she thought the water was gone forever, that this thing she was enjoying had been lost and lost for good.  Pure agony. 

I smiled. 

The reason I smiled at this child’s pain is not because I am a jerk or take delight in the suffering of small mammals. I smiled because this child is almost every writer I know. 

One day the writer sits down, and great, connected words flow through their pen onto the paper like waves rushing toward the shore, “I shall be a greater writer! Hazaa!!” Pure joy. 

But then the next day, it feels dry, as if all their talent is pulling away from them. The writer panics, fears they have lost their artistry forever, chooses to suffer, chooses to doubt, and possibly chooses to never write again. “Perhaps I am just not meant to be a writer.” Pure agony. 

Hey dummy – turn around!

If we could all just turn around and realize that our artistry, our talent, our creativity is a vast ocean and it is there whether we wade into it or not. Yeah, it can be overwhelming and uncontrollable but you can ease into it if that feels better.  It will certainly feel better than crying on the beach. 

Great writers are those who learn to surf – not to control but to ride greatness of the unconscious. 

So the next time you doubt yourself, the next time you beat yourself up because your writing that day was kinda bad, the next time you even consider giving up, visualize that dumb kid crying on the beach because they are facing the wrong direction. 

Don’t be a dumb-dumb – turn around and wade in. 

If you would like to learn more process based tools for writers check out MEDITATIVE WRITING. 

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