I’m so tired of all the glorification of suffering that seems to go hand-in-hand with writing. The idea that one must suffer for her art has been ingrained in us. It doesn’t help that some of our literary icons have told us its true.
“Writing is hard work and bad for the health.” E.B. White
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” Nathaniel Hawthorne
“Perhaps it’s good to suffer. Can an artist do anything if he is happy?” Aldous Huxley
Even if you’re not familiar with these quotes, it’s likely the notions that writing = hard and that suffering = better writing are some of your core beliefs because they’ve been repeated so often.
The truth is, as writers, we all hit creative blocks or need solutions to a craft problem. And, yes, writing takes effort. But we don’t have to suffer.
I did it, anyway, because I didn’t know better. After 10 years as a journalist, columnist and poet, I just couldn’t handle the suffering my writing life caused me. My writing depleted me. My failures, whether perceived or real, demoralized me.
Even though I’d made deep sacrifices for my art, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I quit my column. I stopped performing. I stopped publishing. I knew I either had to quit forever or I had to find a new way of doing things.
In a commitment to this new life, I moved across the country to California, and I began cultivating a yoga practice that changed everything.
The teachings of yoga philosophy helped me with my relationship with writing. (I published a paper on this in a book on innovations in teaching writing. Read it here.) Soon, I saw that my yoga practice was a magical tool, too. And as I continued my quest for a relationship with my writing that felt supported, purposeful, and nourishing, I recognized the principles that I now teach in Practical Magic for Writers workshops.
Imagine a writing life…
- that allows you to feel connected, rather than isolated.
- that fills you with purpose, inspiration and joy.
- that nourishes you, instead of depleting you.
- that contributes to the well-being of you and others.
- that helps you realize your best and highest self.
I have a FREE upcoming webinar where you can find out more: Intro to Practical Magic for Writers. You can attend live or watch it in replay.