I heard something somewhere (as I often do then can’t remember where), that said writing for some writers…is like meditation.
I’m calling bullshit on that. In so many ways and on so many levels.
Yes, I can see it as being therapeutic in a sense. It feels relaxing to have written something. To know that I got work done and that I created something out of nothing. There’s a definite feeling of accomplishment. And I can completely see how writing can be a form of healing. It helped me get through a time of loneliness when I was living overseas and I had nothing else to do with my time but write. But seriously now… meditation?
I do meditation. It can sometimes be the hardest part of the day if you do it as a daily ritual. (I’ve tried and failed every time. Making yourself sit in silence is harder than it sounds). And it can be the most relaxing thing in the world. Writing isn’t relaxing for me. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. When I’m not thinking about writing, I’m worried about writing. When I’m not worried about writing, I’m quite possibly dreaming about writing. I find this to be the case with many writers. We are often consumed with our stories and constantly thinking them through. We are in self-mutilating cycles of self-doubt and always wondering if this next book will be the one to prove that we really don’t know what we’re doing.
So yeah… meditation. Not so much. It can be cathartic. It can be healing. It can (sometimes) be soothing, but I only find this to be the case if you’re writing journal entries. Or it’s in reference to the feeling that takes over after you’re done writing. But meditative isn’t a word that I would chose to describe it. It makes me feel as though I’m doing something wrong when someone says writing should be meditative and should come naturally to you. Sure writing is one of the things in life that I feel I’m best at and it comes naturally to me in the sense that I know others can’t plant their butt in a chair and dedicate time to it like I can. But it’s not a natural action to force words from nothing.
There are many things in this world that make me doubt my skills and make me wonder if this is the right path for me. Especially when someone says writing should be meditative. So yeah…calling bullshit on that. It’s work. Work that I purely enjoy and that I would do over anything else. But work never the less. I don’t stop doing it because it’s work. I do it because the work is fulfilling. I love it. And I can leave meditation for before or after I finish. It’s completely separate from what I do.
Next thing someone will be saying that writing is like doing yoga because it’s “relaxing.” More bullshit. Yoga is hard fucking work. Do you feel great afterwards? Yes! Does it make it NOT work? NO!!!!!!!!!
I could write a whole blog post about everything that writing ISN’T. Maybe I should one day…