The Writing Life

Megan Mcdonough

I’m sitting here this morning in my favorite writing chair—a mission-style recliner with wide wooden arms that have plenty of space for my coffee. Later I’ll add the cordless phone to the other armrest for my business calls. It’s rather dangerous. I could sit here for too long. My strategy is to consume lots of fluids, forcing me to get up and take care of business when my bladder insists upon it.

I love the writing life.

I hear a cacophony of birds outside my open window and the frogs in the pond croaking their satisfaction. It’s summer, so instead of a roaring fire keeping me company I have tame votive candles in the fireplace.

The geese honk loudly when they arrive in the spring and again when the leave in the fall. They fly so close to the rooftop that you can hear the noise echo down the fireplace flue. Sometimes I leave the comfort of my writing chair to watch them. I love when they are so near I can hear the powerful flap of their big wings move through the air.

In the poem Wild Geese, Mary Oliver writes, “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”

What would you write today as the world offers itself to your imagination?

Writing gives me the time to actually see this moment—to take note of what’s happening in the unfolding story words create. It’s like the writing creates a new reality, one that was invisible before when I was busy doing instead of noticing.

Appreciation of what’s right in front of you arises when you write.

Writing focuses your attention. Sometimes that focus brings clarity as the story reveals a little more of itself. Sometimes that focus just brings up more questions—where is this story going? But the writing always gives a surprise. “Look,” the words say, “I’ve just spun a new world that didn’t exist 30 minutes ago.”

Writing is the big bang theory in action. Not here one moment, here the next. Writers are Gods, creating worlds with words.

There’s no better way to spend the day.

  • Megan McDonough teaches stress management and work/life balance skills. You can take her course Living with Ease or learn to teach the course yourself.
  • [tags]writing, imagination, focus, Wild Geese poem, Mary Oliver[/tags]

    Author: Megan Mcdonough

    People with big ideas face a constant challenge: how to transform that vision into a new and better reality. Whether it’s change in your personal life or success in your business, vision needs action (and rest) to manifest.

    3 Responses to “The Writing Life”

    1. Andrea Hunter says:

      Love this entry — there is no better way to spend the day than writing. I live in Hawaii and have so much in front of me to appreciate and write about. Thanks you for your insights!

    2. ajournalistlife says:

      Read this and made a note to self: Work for whomever she works for. My writing life involves editors asking for rewrites, story deadlines, endless string of fact gathering. More rewrite and editing. Birds? Geese. I wish.

    3. What a giggle I got reading ajournalistlife’s comment! Well, I am not a journalist, am self-employed, and basically write whatever I damn well please. There’s no fact gathering whatsoever when you write about your own experiences (well, I suppose the fact gathering is checking in with my own mind to see if I’m writing honestly. That can get very murky indeed). Here’s hoping you hear the birds soon!

      Andrea, I’m sure the beauty of Hawaii is never at a loss for writing inspiration!

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