In the temporary doldrums of this time of year, the Season of Meh, one does in writing what one must do in life: Sit, be patient and let be. It’s a plan of action that’s a lot smarter, I think, than fussing against the dull idealessness that must work itself out on its own.

The question is, then, what can the writer do while waiting for the wind to return to her sails?

I’ve posted about the busy work that keeps one close to the loved one; the act of transcribing notes that creates a sneaky, unconscious foundation for the thinking that will start firing up when the Meh dissipates. And there’s another handy practice that’s as easy-to-come-by as the gifts of our senses: Seeing. And hearing.

Not looking. Not listening. Not necessarily. But seeing, hearing, simply. Opening the attention to the outside world and its endless influences as a way of (and forgive so many analogies in this small space) priming the pump for the return of the creative energy.

That’s the thing about writing—or about any creative endeavor, really: We are synthesis machines. We draw from that which is seen, is heard, is experienced and, of course, is imagined. We are borrowers afoot. Any word, idea, image, can send our thoughts and story and characters and plots into unexpected new directions.

As a remedy to the bottomed-out emotions that are the Way of Things in MehLand, this can be invaluable…more than a marking of place through our daily lives; instead, an opening out into the world. A less passive way of “letting be.” The admission of Possibility. The thing that lets the waiting-time be so much more than a waiting game.

 

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