September 12, 2013
Today was the first day that I adhered to my new schedule, allocating Thursdays to writing. I have a big list. I’m writing a second edition of my book, Body, Mind & Spirit IN ACTION: a teacher’s guide to creative dance because I have learned so much since I began writing it in 2000, completing in 2003. Also on my list is a series of companion books that provide a little closer look at various aspects of dance teaching. At this juncture I’m talking about Family Dance, Dance in Early Childhood and a third with the working title, The Rigors of Creativity, addressing how to hold the bar high for future dance-makers. I’ve read many books on writing from Natalie Goldberg to bell hooks to Eudora Welty to the classic, So You Want to Be a Writer by Brenda Ueland. To paraphrase my favorite part of that book, Ms. Ueland writes about how important it is that writers take a walk for one hour every day. ‘Except, when things are really in crisis.’ “During those times,” the sage recommends, “nothing less than two hours will do.”
The challenge for me is that I’m trying to embrace these writing projects, along with a queue of articles I’ve agreed to write, as THE creative project when I’m accustomed to dance-making as my creative work. I’m having problems carving out time to sit and write when it would be equally difficult to carve out time to go into the studio and craft. And that is where my comfort lives. There is a scale that lives in my mind, constantly weighing the relative values of writing vs. working vs. creating through dance. How can I prioritize one over the other? While I know we’re talking about prioritizing for now and, truth be told I’ve prioritized working 8-12 hour days for the past 10 years and dance-making for ten years before that. No matter, I’ve committed this time for writing and every one of the writers mentioned in the first paragraph say a version of the same thing, sit down and let your hand move consistently across the page for at least one ten-minute free-write every day. So, as indulgent as it seems to be writing about the writing process, I’m going to use this blog forum as a vessel for one aspect of my pre-writing/journaling process. The hope is that ideas will emerge that can become larger ideas. In this world of social media, perhaps it can also teach me and others something about the creative process as one crosses media.
(preedy…ps, if i keep at this, i will start a new page on this website to keep the writing process separate from the other musings.)