Whereas the world is in dire straits.
Whereas the people are feeling more disconnected than ever.
Whereas it feels like so much is out of the control of individuals.
Be is resolved that as writers we take the following actions…
First, we acknowledge that the act of writing is a heroic act.
Second, we acknowledge that writing is an act that we simultaneously cannot control and completely control.
Third, we acknowledge those that have written before us and honor the words of Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz and follow his dictum that ”A writer must sit down to write every day, pick up his pen and try to write something — anything — on a piece of paper,” or blog, or computer, or stone tablet.
In these days of uncertainty, make a positive act. Commit a thought to paper, let it live, let it suffer the indignities of the critics, but leave a mark. And then take all that burdens those words and make it better.
As writers, we must worry less about getting things right that writing nothing at all. Be courageous my fellow writers. The final draft only begins with a first draft, and let the writing begin.
But more seriously, ways to help your writing in 2009.
1) Set up an account with a major blogging site, it’s free and you don’t have to publish it to the world. It’s a great way to take a free moment at work if you have access to a computer. Just go to the site and toss in a few words.
2) Consider carrying a personal journal. Moleskines are wonderful, if absurdly expensive. The hipster PDA is a great way to take notes as you need them. It’s cheap and works.
3) Consider a netbook, these new sub-laptops have great battery life and are a way to have your writing tool where you need it.
4) Write letters and postcards, writing flexes muscles, muscles need exercise. Pick up postcards in the town you live and send off a quick note, poem, postcard post to friends you don’t correspond with, hell send a postcard to those people you email and IM with all the time (I promise, it’ll blow their mind!)
5) In these Dickensian times, think “Bleak House”. Charles Dickens was a great serialist, think of your great American Novel as a serial and write it as such. It worked for Harper Lee, it can work for you, even if you never serialize it.
The most important thing you can do, when you think you are powerless, it to write. Make a mark, any mark.