Inspiration right now: the Process, Writings & Daily pages

It’s a bad business, this writing. No marks on paper can ever measure up to the word’s music in the mind, to the purity of the image before its ambush by language. 

Mary Gordon
Sideview of open notebook photo copyright Hanna Andersson

Sometimes when I find great English blogs or articles I feel a great sadness that I can never write like that myself (in English). It’s not my first language and I lack the knowledge of its grammar (and these days the will to learn beyond trying to look up new words which I do constantly). And of course in novels, which I often read in English, but with longer texts I find I often get so caught up in the story I forget or don’t note the beauty of the language (and that really is not a bad thing, right?).

But yes, I really wish I could write as eloquently as some authors do, or string together beautiful words with such grace, but my basic English rarely have that magic thing that I love when reading others, and my sentences are sometimes bland even to me.

And still I keep writing.

I do sometimes create beautiful sentences when I write in Swedish, but you guys never see that of course. That’s why I am so grateful to still be read and able to reach out to all of you, who have English as your first language and know it more intimately than I ever will (all my love for it aside).

Today’s blog post is following my previous pattern of sharing inspiration and the blog post Inspiring me right now: Thrifty Thursday, collage sheets & more from June. I meant to do these monthly so this has been in the making since July, but I never sat down to finish it. I would love to write “life happened” but that’s not it. The bland happened? The time seeped out between my fingers. Anyway, let’s keep going. It’s a short list of three “things” but with a lot of writing, so at least that’s something I’ve ticked of my list of creative pursuits…

1) Writing about writing

First a quote about blogging that struck me as so true and as something I could’ve written myself. It’s about the feeling of always continuing on (forward, upwards, to infinity and beyond) but also feeling rather stuck:

“I’m still finding it. I know it’s evolving all the time. I can tell you what I didn’t think in the early 2000s is that I’d be writing letters to people […]. And with no end in sight. Like maybe I’ll stop this someday in this form but I’ve been online talking to people for so long I don’t think I could ever entirely disappear from it. Another thing I’m stuck in.”

Jami Attenberg on Itches to scratch

I read Jami on her blog Craft talk and have enjoyed her writing about writing there lately. I found her after the summer, otherwise I might have (wanted to try to) join her Summer of writing online project, which now has lead to a book called 1000 Words: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round. It comes out in January and I can’t wait to read it as well.

2) Process Muse

I found the Mary Gordon-quote (starting of this blog post) via my new account on Mastodon (after I x:d out of Twitter), as it was shared by another writing person, Devon Ellington. She has a writing career going, and shares that in several places online. Devon shared a piece called “Choices and opportunities”, which as on her Substack blog/newsletter the “Process Muse” (love that name).

Devon writes about writing in a beautiful but harsh way that inspires me as well, so she’s one of three inspirations I’m sharing today. Reading her feels like having a coach yelling at me with a stern face (but well meaning) and I do need that.

Devon Ellington writes about writing as a career, something to take seriously and devote time to. It is also a not very gentle beating of everyone who wants to work in the arts not to be lazy, to keep showing up:

“You show up even on the days you don’t feel like it. That doesn’t negate taking days off and/or vacations, like you would in any professional situation. But you choose and plan time off, and you work ahead before you take that time (because it is unlikely you will catch up after).

You want this to be the way you earn your living? Show up and do the work. If you have a day job and want to be a full-time creative, then you treat your creative work as your second job until you’re in a position for it to be your only job.”

Devon Ellington on Showing up

I love that! Another piece, with the same aggressive teacher tone, was called “Active Choices and Opportunities” and if you want to catch creative opportunities but feel you never have “the time” – then read this! Here’s a quote and then the link to the article:

“The real reason is rarely a lack of time, even with multiple jobs and responsibilities. We MAKE time for our priorities. Saying “I CHOOSE not to put my time here” is a much healthier way to approach something you decide not to do. It means you are taking responsibility for your own decisions, not blaming the universe for creating obstacles. Framing your choices so that you stand in the truth of them – that you choose to do this, or you choose not to do that – for whatever reasons you have – will help you as further choices present themselves.”

Devon Ellington on Choices and opportunities

Process muse Substack – link to her substack blog /site (because you can read this via email subscription but also in arss-reader which I love)

3) Daily Pages

A while back I listened to a older episode of a podcast (trying to get back to listening to more podcasts) about something called Daily Pages. They’re a small scrapbooking inspired project where you quickly fill a spread in a small notebook (A6 or Field Notes sized) as daily as you can or want to. I got hooked on the idea because of the passion with which Kristin Tweedale, who is the originator of the project, talk about it. And I have seen it before on Instagram and felt intrigued by the simplicity of it, and a while back Ali Edwards shared a reel a day documenting how she filled her Daily pages and that totally made me want to have that as a(nother) creative practice in my life.

Kristin even have a weekly formula for what to put into your notebook every day that you could follow along with to make it even easier for yourself!

Video: Rukristin talking about her Daily pages habit.

In conclusion

I have been questioning everything but finding solace in other’s beautiful thoughts and writings. I am sending out a huge heartfelt thank you to all writers who keeps showing up and sharing their thoughts and experiences and words, as well as to you guys for following me and reading my work.

Thank you!

Feel free to share below any suggestions on what I should check out next, or your own musings on writing, blogs, filling notebooks or the abundance of creative invitations and prompts we can find and “join” online these days…

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