Yesterday I went to one of my favorite little eating places for lunch. It was recently renovated, and I wanted to see what changes had been made. To my surprise, the menu had been pared down. My guess is that the owner felt the menu had become too broad and a small, locally-owned business couldn’t afford to do all of these items, so he returned to his original menu. It’s simpler: phillys and chicken tenders, fries and chips, nothing complicated.
It made me think about how I am. My very Laura-like tendency is to overcomplicate my life, especially my writing life. I tweet and blog and update (or at least think about it) in the name of building a platform for my real writing because this is what an aspiring writer is “supposed” to do, and forget what my focus ought to be: writing a great novel. Forget the “great” part; just writing a novel, period.
Simplicity is freedom. — Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline.
It’s freeing to realize that I only need to focus on one thing. All the rest falls into their proper places when I get first things first.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about simplicity and freedom, writing and focus and stories, both those we are told by our culture and those we tell ourselves. And after several months of writer’s block/mild depression/selling-a-house-and-moving-to-a-new-one hassles, I’m finally writing again. Really writing, not just piddling around, changing a comma here and there.
We’ll see what comes of these scribblings in my writer’s journal. Ray Bradbury demanded that his students write four pages a day, telling them that most of it would be trash, but the rest—the rest would save their lives. I’m sure you’ll see some of my scribblings on this blog, including some of the trash; in advance, forgive the rough patches!