Learning the Write Lesson
So I took a month long break from the grind of writing just to have time for myself and rest. Now that I’ve written about it (getting rest), I felt a need to ‘rewind’ and ‘recharge’ myself so I can get back into the write mode. This past weekend, I made a visit to the community college where I started my goal of mastering the English language in speaking it, writing, and analyzing words. While I felt I have lost my way as a writer, this weekend was a revelation into what I believe is the big lesson I missed out on.
Loneliness is a social killer but for the serious writer, it can be what is needed to fully use your powers of concentration and creative thought. I had to remember the after class hours I spent in an empty classroom to write a short story, watching from the third floor people walking around campus. I had enough discipline to force myself to return to my seat and finish the pages I had planned to write for that day. Over thirty years later, it is close to impossible with the rise of the internet and social media to maintain that focus and commitment to the work. Not saying it’s impossible, but the need to check our statuses, pokes and notes are tempting and if one doesn’t develop the right mental control to continue the written (or typed) work, it’s easy to lose attention to what’s important.
A writer also needs an environment where he or she can thrive in creating their works. There are many, many suggestions over the internet and print media advising scribes when, where and how to write in a stable setting with or without the use of the internet. These settings as we have learned vary from a hotel room to the quiet comforts of one’s own home. On this campus, I chose to write in an empty classroom because it gave me the opportunity to write in peace. I can honestly say I never had a situation where I was interrupted while writing in this classroom and now from my visit, I’ve found out in one of the halls I used to frequent there is a writing center. Where was this when I needed it? (Big smile)
The most important lesson I’ve learned from my visit is that as many years have passed, I took advantage of the opportunities I was given and built on them. For example, I wrote two sports articles for the college newspaper. Upon transferring to a university, I wrote another two articles for the newspaper and continued until the present day. When you’ve set a goal of becoming the best writer you can be, you have to start early and produce as much as you can for maximum exposure. This fast-paced digital, social media world will make you think you haven’t done much if you allow that thinking to seep in, but as long as you keep writing and inventing ideas in your mind, you’re always contributing.
There are times such as last month where you need to take a break and just relax. It’s a good idea to sit back and allow your brain to conjure up new ideas, new works. Only you as a writer can choose when to get back into the flow of writing your new or unfinished projects. As long as you can recharge and get back into the write mode, there’s nothing wrong with taking some time off to sit back, relax, and enjoy the time you have.
Charles L. Chatmon
Authors N Focus