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R.J's Posts

  • Writer's pictureR.J Dyson

Doesn't Get Much Better Than Now

I don't know about you but the least sexy, the least adventurous, the least exhilarating mountain-top engaged spiritual writing experiences have yet been some of the most fruitful and rewarding.

When I set out years ago to discover the writing habits of dead authors (and some living ones too) I had in mind images of authors spending weeks by the ocean, skipping meals, writing by candlelight, sucking down coffee by the yak-load, and finally emerging from the shadows with perfect manuscripts ready for print and universally cherished by their editors, publishing companies, and even themselves.

Turns out I was a little off the mark with that assessment.

Don't get me wrong. There are some incredible works produced through some incredibly quirky circumstances, but for the most part, the longest lasting, timeless, most endearing, impactful, ultimately memorable contributions have been the result of people simply putting in the work despite their circumstances. Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike by the ocean, they simply made time to recreate the ocean in their mind (or whatever their muse-like inspiration was), sit down, then bring it life several hundred words at a time until the work was done.

And then rise and do it again.

And again.

And you know what? Some of the shine can wear off in the process.

By the time the seventh draft of chapters 17-21 are complete, the adventure can feel more like the end of a long road-trip in a broke-down station wagon running on fumes and without AC in the throes of an Ohio summer in August. Right? Know what I mean? Deadlines and personal accountability and healthy habits and alternate projects and jobs and family routines and running out of coffee or toilet paper... real life in the valley consumes the mountain top high of a fresh work in progress.

And, yet, at the end of it all, the fruit of a project well produced in the slog of a daily rhythm is undoubtedly better than waiting for the beachfront property to come available for that three-week personal writing fest that never actually materializes. And the stories you write in your mind, at your desk, each and every day, word count by word count... these are the products that you not only build one day at a time, but products that build you into the writer, the creative who out-creates the one still waiting for the perfect circumstances to create.

Listen, sometimes, for some authors past or present, those whimsical beachside, mountain-top, foreign-culture writing fantasies become real writing experiences. Awesome. But for most of our favorite authors through time and space, they simply clocked in at work then came home, shared in life with their families and, when time and space allowed, sat down and wrote after the kids went to bed. Sexy? Nah. Fruitful? Absolutely.

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