The No. 1 question I get at readings is: “How many hours a day do you write?” I used to stumble on this question. I don’t write every day, but when I first started going on book tours I was afraid I’d be revealed as a true fraud if I admitted that. Sometimes I write for 20 minutes. Other times I don’t stop writing for six hours, falling over at the end like an emotional, wrung-out mess, simultaneously exhausted and exhilarated. Sometimes I go months without putting a word on the page.
One night, however, I was asked that question and the right answer just popped out, unknown to me before it found solidity on the air: “I write every waking minute,” I said. I meant, of course, that I am always writing in my head.
via The Art of Being Still – NYTimes.com.
Special thanks to Jessie van Eerden, Director of the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at West Virginia Wesleyan College, for sharing this essay with incoming students.
One thought on “The Art of Being Still – NYTimes.com”
I’ve come back to The Art of Being Still a number of times in recent days, thinking about a mind-body chart: when the mind is still and the body isn’t; when the body is still and the mind isn’t; when both are still; when both are wiggly and jiggly. Four states of being that produce very different kinds of thought, work, writing. I think my favorite is when the body is still and the mind isn’t. When I lie on the bed looking at the ceiling, my body nearly asleep, my mind living a thousand lives. Thanks for the post—it’s a great read!