Tuesday, November 1, 2011
"What is your favourite part about writing?"
This was the prompt for the first day of NaBloPoMo, but as I had already written a general post for Tuesday I didn't use it at that time. I was thinking more about the question though, and decided to go back to it today, as I came to a realization this week about what I love most about writing.
Except for the daily blogging, I didn't do much writing this week. In fact, I managed just one day of work on my WIP, Polar Night. I only wrote about 2,000 words, but the time I spent doing so brought me to this post.
In recent years, I've struggled a great deal with anxiety. This is primarily because of real life issues that are stressful to me, but in addition, I think it is just part of the way I'm wired. I'm prone to anxiety in the same way I'm prone to motion sickness and skin allergies.
At any rate, this week was a difficult one for me on this front. But as I looked back on the week today, I realized that the time I had spent writing had been the time that I could best banish the anxiety, and feel the most relaxed and content.
I've tried all kinds of things to deal with managing stress, and I have found that exercising regularly is a great help to me. But nothing works as well as writing, and somehow just sitting down with my laptop and putting words together helps me relax in a way nothing else does.
This realization reminded me of a passage from one of my favorite books, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott.
"Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. The thing you had to force yourself to do - the actual act of writing - turns out to be the best part. It's like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward." ~ Bird by Bird, page xxvi
This was the case for me this week. While I didn't do a large amount of writing, what I did was indeed its own reward.
Writing is the best antidote for anxiety that I've ever found, and I don't know of a better way to take a break from the inevitable stress of the "real world" than by sitting down and simply writing.
I'm looking forward to a weekend of doing just that, and I know that even if I get stuck on a chapter or struggle to find just the right words, I will still feel the reward that comes from the act of writing itself.
That is my favorite thing about writing, and the reason I'm so glad I discovered, however late, the joy that it can bring.
Happy Friday to all, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend ahead. :)