Writing – The Time Lie

The Right to Write:
An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life

For Father’s Day, a few years back (well, it had to be less than three years 🙂 ), my parent’s bought me a book on writing titled The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life by Julia Cameron. It was a thoughtful gift and right up my alley (there is very little I like more than a book for a gift) but I put it on the to-read pile and forgot about it. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Well, sometime last month I spotted the book, still in the to-read pile, and got a little curious. It was about this time that I was feeling no inspiration at all. Absolutely no ideas were coming to be. This was also before the contest at The Clarity of Night. I’m glad I did get curious.

The first chapter is good. The chapter that really caught my eye, though, was titled The Time Lie. Hmm. Just read this sentence here:

One of the biggest myths around writing is that in order to do it we must have great swaths of uninterrupted time.

Isn’t that the truth? I know I’ve often thought that if I could just have a day to do nothing but write, I would get so much done. Well, that day never comes. And if it did, I would probably spend it doing anything but writing.

Ms Cameron goes on to say this:

The myth that we must have “time” — more time — in order to create is a myth rgat keeps us from using the time we do have.

That is interesting. So what do we do? The author has this to say:

The “if-I-had-time” lie is a convenient way to ignore the fact that novels require being written and that writing happens a sentence at a time. Sentences can happen in a moment. Enough stolen moments…and a novel is born — without the luxury of time.

The author talked about “morning pages”, about writing three pages in the morning about absolutely anything. It doesn’t have to be your work in progress. It doesn’t even have to be good. Just write. It will “prime the pump” for the good stuff.

Maybe you don’t have time for three pages.  How about one page? How about three paragraphs. Who knows, maybe you will find something great in the rubble.

Anyhow, that’s where I am in the book.  I consider this a great book on writing based on this chaper alone. I can’t wait to find out what else is inside. Anybody else read this one yet?  Are you thinking about it now?


13 thoughts on “Writing – The Time Lie

  1. p.s. I’ve just noticed that you’re wordpress too. I am really struggling to update my blogroll [by hand and very, very tedious] Do you happen to know any shortcuts?

    • I’m just wordpress.com though. I just used the interface they provide. It probably wouldn’t be hard to do something fancy to update a blogroll, but I haven’t done anything like that. Sorry!

  2. I haven’t read it, but I have read The Artist’s Way. She talks about morning pages in that one, too. Madeleine L’Engle called that kind of warm-up writing “finger exercises,” like scales on a piano.

  3. Great post. It’s inspirational. I’ve often looked at the clock and thought I only have fifteen minutes which isn’t enough time to write anything but perhaps I’m wrong.

  4. Now that’s calling a spade a spade. I have frequently thought the same thing — I am procrastinating by telling myself I don’t have the time. But I don’t need hours and hours.

    I do have many minutes available and yet I don’t do it. I’m going to have to re-think things and just get that horse to move even if it’s just one step at a time.

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