“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” -Ernest Hemingway
The most difficult part of writing is the writing. It’s the showing up every day, putting down a word and then another until miraculously, the words you’ve strung together complete a sentence, possibly even a coherent thought.
My thoughts over the past week have been broken, spliced, interrupted by grief and anxiety and stress and doctor appointments and we STILL don’t have the nebulizer that was promised to be delivered over a week ago, which wouldn’t be an issue except for the fact that now they’re sick and not sleeping well and filling our nights with sounds of gagging and hacking and crying because THEY CAN’T BREATHE.
Boston broke me down. I turned inward, held my babies close, got lost inside my head for a while, but I don’t think I’m any different than most. All of us tip-toeing around our days until we find our footing again. And honestly, if it wasn’t clear from the paragraph above, it wasn’t just Boston.
But I’m here now and I’ve realized something. I need to show up. I need to begin with just one sentence. I’ve heard that in developing a routine — showing up at the same time everyday no matter what — you develop a sort of reflexive muscle to the act of writing. That in creating this practice, the act becomes automatic. I know this but I have a hard time implementing it, always waiting for inspiration, always fighting distractions, when all I need to do is sit down and write one true sentence.
I need a plan. I need a focus, a goal. I need time-management skills and possibly a minimalist room with a view of the ocean and a fat Buddha silently willing me to breathe and write. Breathe and write. I don’t have that room but I think I might have found something to help with the time-management issue. If you struggle, like me, with keeping focused on a task or goal (doesn’t have to be writing), check out the Pomodoro Technique and Goal Streaks. I haven’t actually tried either one yet, so if you use them I’d love to know what you think.