Thoughts on becoming a better writer…
photo credit: Kirsten Hallenbeck
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live! Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow–as if I had given vent to the stream at the lower end and consequently new fountains flowed into it at the upper. A thousand rills which have their rise in the sources of thought–burst forth and fertilize my brain. . . . Only while we are in action is the circulation perfect. The writing which consists with habitual sitting is mechanical wooden dull to read.
-Henry David Thoreau
The blinking cursor on the screen remains unmoved and blank pages, empty thoughts, and still fingers are uninspired. If I ever sit down to write and I have nothing to say, I know that I have somehow disconnected these words from the flow of my heart…or worse yet, my heart from the flow of life. If I am living, and learning, and loving, then I should be writing. There is no difference to me.
I know that some people write from habitual sitting. Sitting and SEO’ing. Sitting and Keywording. Sitting and marketing through social media. Sitting and writing top 10 lists. Sitting and writing from popular streams of endlesss sterile topics that are coming from their peers. Sitting. Not living. Writing out of marketing prowess or obligation to meet a deadline because now you’re a contributing author. Not that any of those things are bad, but when done from still feet and lack of living they produce stale writing. I know that person because that person has been me…sitting…with still fingers…and still feet. But, I suppose this is my confession and I am choosing to stand up and refuse to write this way. Don’t get me wrong. I still market my content. I still SEO my posts and do my best to extend my reach to a new audience. But, what I refuse to do is let the external demands of publishing own the territory of my heart.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
The heart is the wellspring of all of life. If I attach my heart to the allure of making it big through marketing genius and the promises of publishing prowess, for some reason my feet seem to stop walking, my focus gets distorted from lack of living, and the words I write become lifeless and stale from the stillness. But, if I keep my writing attached to my heart, and my heart attached to how I live, then my writing will be life-giving, light-shedding, and power-producing. The last thing I want to do is release words that have no life, no presence, and no impact. When I choose to write about my passions, the things I love to do, and the things that motivate me, it in turn propels me to live more and move my feet a little bit faster into the treasure of life from which I pull the inspiration.
This is why I write with walking feet…so that my writing yields words that free, nourish the heart, and awaken our consciousness. This is why I pledge to always move my fingers in tandem with the internals of my heart and not the external demands of a hungry system that promises to make you big.
I choose to live. I choose to write. I choose to write from my heart about how I live.
I write from a standing position. A moving position. May my feet always move in tandem with my fingers, thus unlocking the endless flow of words that come from a deep place; the fountain of the heart that never runs dry.