When the writing writes back


Almost every day (I’d like to leave the ‘almost’ out, but that would be a lie), I start my morning with a 15-minute stream of consciousness word vomit on a digital page.

These usually start with me talking. Struggling. Wondering what to write about (and actually writing, ‘I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write…’).

Then, like clockwork, about 10 minutes in, after I’ve sputtered and stuttered my way through the exercise, something happens. It’s a mental atmospheric shift that occurs where all the tumblers seem to click into place.

All of a sudden, every nervous, itchy, neurotic bone in my physical and mental being stops flailing around and I become calm. Settled in.

I’m coasting now. The words just come. Sentences and word combinations magically show up on the page. Some are cryptic. Others are eerily lucid. Either way, I go into a mode of watching them pour out of me as opposed to forcing them out.

At this point in the writing, the question occurs… Just who is writing who? Am I writing the words? Or are the words writing me?

When the writing starts writing back, you know you’re in good hands.

When this happens, you’ve reached that perfect mental, emotional — I’d even venture to say, spiritual — climate that fosters maximum creative flow.

It’s like starting a fire in the fireplace on a cold winter day. You get up freezing, throw on your PJ’s, stack the wood, and light the kindling. Sometimes you have to help it by stoking it or adding more wood. This stage can be a bit tedious.

But when that flame takes hold and the logs start glowing, you can kick your feet up, pour some coffee, and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard for. The fire has taken on a life of its own. Even though it’ll take some tending to, most of your hard work is done.

Sit back and enjoy before the rest of the house wakes up. This is your moment. This is your time. Breathe it in.

And then, get back to writing.

Jonas shares short, whimsical daily vignettes here on Medium and around the web. To get them delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.

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