Early morning. I take my place on my cushion, set the timer, close my eyes, and breathe deeply. Nothing to do but sit. In a while I’ll go down to my office, but not yet. Now I’m simply present. Breathing in, breathing out.Embed from Getty Images
My heartbeat is calm, steady. I begin a slow, gentle scan, relaxing tension in my face, my neck, my shoulders–oh, so sweet. Quiet. So quiet. Such sweet stillness. A jolt of pain in my knee. I imagine I’m sending my breath there to release it. I imagine warmth, space. The pain dissolves
Maybe Owen didn’t say what he said in that scene yesterday. What if he just glanced at Chaucer, a look that silenced his companion?
No, not now. This is my quiet time. Relax jaw. Relax forehead. Breathe.
Does Muriel think her husband’s been unfaithful? Is that why—?
Not NOW. Deep breath in, longer breath out. Breathing in 1-2-3-4, breathing out 1-2-3-4-5-6. Quiet. Stillness. Breathing into the knee.
Oh, this is good. Beatrice’s late husband had a pack of hunting dogs. Dogs she feared.
NOT NOW. Deep breath in, longer breath out. Imagine my mind as vast as the sky. Thoughts are drifting clouds. I just watch them drift by. If the idea is important, I’ll remember it.
But what if I don’t?
Just passing clouds.
That’s just it. Passing. Capture it before it dissolves.
Here’s my problem. Owen Archer, longbowman, captain of archers, blinded in the left eye, now distrusts his aim–that idea came to me while doing a headstand in yoga class. And even though I was able to keep it in my head, elaborating it as I drove home, I always wonder whether I ever would have been published if I’d forgotten the idea by the time I arrived home.
Doubt is tricky–it feels like wisdom.
And it’s a fact that the inspiration comes in the pauses. When my mind eases all effort.
Sprong! What about this?! Hey! Pay attention! This is IT!
I open my eyes, pick up my notebook and pen, jot a few notes, set the notebook aside. Breathing in, breathing out.
Here’s to the importance of those meditative moments and the constant presence of pen and notebook! Can’t wait for this new Owen Archer!
Thanks, Julie! This truly is one of the richest parts of the day. I’ve been noticing what comes up first thing, and the early morning ideas feel organic, as if my dream self pondered the story overnight and is feeding me inspiration–look at this–have you considered this?
Love your work. Have read the entire Owen Archer series to date and can’t wait for more. Any advice for a writer’s group on tools, tasks, how to be the best at your craft, and of course, how to get published?
Hace Williams, Author
Thank you, Hace! Writing advice–hm, my favorite is write every day, and complete what you’re writing. The follow-through is so important. If your group works with fiction, I highly recommend the book WIRED FOR STORY by Lisa Cron. I see you’re here in Seattle–whatever sort of creative writing you’re interested in, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association is an excellent resource (pnwa.org), especially for those starting out, with good talks at the monthly meetings and frequent writing workshops at the cottage in Gilman Village. Their annual conference is in mid July. Hope this helps!