There is a tingling sensation that runs up my cheeks when I encounter something extraordinary. This happens each time I read my notes on Claire’s craft talk. I doubt we could we have had a more thoughtful and inspiring lecture to begin the residency.
“You must develop the habit of art,” she told us, versus just “doing the work.” There is always a gap between what we desire to do, and what we actually do. By making creativity habitual, we can close in on that which we desire.
“The real business is to write,” she said. “Counting the pages is irrelevant. This sentence, this word is what matters.” I needed to hear this to counter the various authors that discuss writing as a task designated by the specific number of words or pages per day. It is this moment that counts, every moment of our work.
Claire described “those who stood on the brink of something exceptional,” but didn’t make time to explore. I think of how often I am in that situation, distracted by email or internet, a victim of what someone called a “continuous partial attention.” How might my writing be strengthened if I were more present with the words/worlds on the page?
“Imagine. Now imagine more deeply,” she said, trying to coax us into understanding that we cannot arrive at the real story by skimming the surface of life. We must experience each moment deeply, and when we do, we find in them the magic of the muse.