Writer’s Diary #4: Getting Back on the Bus

Yesterday, I fell off the writing bus. I didn’t write anything. After staying up too late writing the night before, I slept in. Instead of journaling and working on the book, as planned, I found myself distracted by one false digital emergency after another.

Today, without childcare, I’m planning to find time to write later in the day. But for now, I want to reflect on the idea that writing a book is an exercise in returning to the work, again and again.

A bad day, or even a terrible week, doesn’t matter. Writing exists in the here and now. If things don’t go as planned, the solution is to return to the writing.

I’ve come to see writing as similar to meditation and breath work. In some forms of meditation, the goal is to focus one’s attention on the breath. As the mind inevitably wanders after a few seconds or minutes, the task is return to the breath.

Writing follows a similar pattern. Sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn’t. You write, then you drift. Getting upset only exacerbates the situation. The key is to come back to the words, just as one would return to breath.

Every day, I make a concerted effort to write. But, there are days, like yesterday, when it just doesn’t work out.

On those days, the solution is wait and come back the next day. Or next week. Start over, again and again.