Permission to hang out on the page

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(and my ode to fall)

The first breaths of the fall breeze tickle my bare feet as they creep in through the screen of my front door.

As I look out the window, I see the full moon peaking through light clouds. Crispy autumn leaves skid along the sidewalk just past my porch.

Fall is my favorite time of year. I share this love with many other writers and creatives. Autumn sets the perfect stage for getting words down on the page (hey, that rhymes — whattdya know?).

Coffee tastes much better now than it did in the middle of summer. The moon shines brighter. Softer acoustic music is more appealing.

James Taylor. Copperline. Ahh..

Fire pits in back yards with friends. Pumpkin ale, old barns, and hay.

It’s the time of withdrawing. The frantic energy of summer has subsided.

If I had to sum up the fall in one word it would be — comfortable.

I’m a big fan of comfort in a certain sense. When it comes to creativity, I’ve always been averse to the strap-up-your-boots, nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic of many creatives.

If something is too difficult, I’m one to wish it the best and move on to something more... Snug.

The times I’ve experienced burnout and blockage the most has been when I’ve strived for perfection from the get-go.

As writers, we want nothing more than to nail it right out of the gate. Sting ‘em with that first sentence. Have solid arguments. And a bangin’ ending that leaves them salivating.

Especially on the web. It seems to be all about the facts.

So our prose becomes stodgy. Buttoned-up.

Even when it comes to editing, if we manipulate our prose too much, we kill the magic it once carried. Sure, it may be more concise and informative, but if we’re too exacting, we can easily sacrifice our humanity along with it.

What brings me back to writing is giving myself permission to just hang out on the page more.

If we were in my living room talking, I’d get super weirded out if you were all pedantic and what-not.

We’ll have none of that in my household.

I’d want you to be comfortable. To just say what you wanted to say without putting too much pre-meditative thought into it.

Now, I wouldn’t want you to ramble on like a damn fool or overstay your welcome. Hanging out is different than loitering and I didn’t say to trespass on the page.

Wouldn’t you feel the same way?

This is how I choose to be with my writing. I love just hanging out on the page.

Writing should be like that solid pair of cotton pajamas we kick around in on fall evenings like this. The ones with the barely noticeable hole in the crotch. Slightly offensive but hard to throw away.

There’s that breeze again.


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Jonas writes short daily discourses here at Higher Thoughts. To get them delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.