Writing is usually a solitary occupation. Some days I don't want to see anyone or leave the house because I'm in the middle of work that commands my attention. And once I interrupt that process, break the spell, I have trouble getting back into the work until the next day when my routine kicks in again. Writing in company is affirming. I don't have to explain to anyone why I'm intent on the page in front of me, or why I'm not talking to anyone. They understand because they are sitting like I am, as if in meditation. Journaling is a form of meditation, one that like more traditional sitting, can be done individually or with a group. The group, though, keeps me honest. I won't jump up and pretend that I have to do the dishes or let the dog out. I keep writing because we are all engaged in writing. We are immersed in the process and free for the moment of concerns about product. That freedom is a nice change, one I hope to remind myself of more often. Even journaling, I am often on the look out for the key phrase or image that will lead to a story or poem. Sometimes, though, writing should be just fun.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Two days ago I spent a couple of hours in a local coffee shop with a group of folks who showed up just to write. How amazing! Instead of staying home noodling around in my sweats or relaxing in my big easy chair, I had to get dressed, go out in the cold, sit on a hard chair, and stop and go at someone else's request. No one expected us to produce anything to share, though we could if we chose to do so. The wind howled and the coffee machines buzzed and rumbled, but nothing distracted from our purpose, to keep the pen moving in response to the prompts given by our leader. This was about journaling as memory and foresight or insight--all good. The goal was to reflect on the year past and the year just begun.