Friday, April 5, 2013

Sitting Under Trees

I thought of y'all today while I was in the backyard playing with my toddler.

In talking about writing we talk a lot about things like craft and discipline, both of which are super important. Any kind of advice you can gain about those things will help shape you as a writer and make you better. Writing definitely takes work. But sometimes, I think we need to let go of the work aspect, and just write.

Today I was watching my son, who's two, play in the backyard and he ran to his favorite spot, which is underneath a tree. He sits there and just looks up at the tree branches, with a smile on his face. While I watched him today, I thought about how my own favorite spot when I was little was underneath a tree we had in our yard at my parents' house. I don't know if at two Josh is imagining anything under his tree yet, but I know that by the time I was six and sitting under mine, I was creating whole words and diving deep into the world of make believe.

I think as 'grown-ups', we don't spend enough time sitting under trees and dreaming up stories.

So sometime in the next week, maybe this weekend if you can, that's my challenge for you. Don't try to plan ahead and decide how this writing session will help the writing career you have or want to have one day. Don't force words out that aren't there. Don't make yourself do anything.

Just grab a notebook and a pen, or your computer if you think better that way, sit down and dream up a story. Just write because you love it.

And if you can sit outside and find a tree to sit under, even better.


  1. Loved this post! :) I think my writing has become a little too forced nowadays... I'm really trying to let go and just let my heart speak when I write. I've even started praying about it.
    I definitely used to come up with stories as I played outside with my dogs, dolls, tea sets, and any number of things I could find. If course, I didn't think of myself as writing stories at the time, but looking back I recognize it for what it was. It's funny. I always wanted a tree house when I was little, but my parents were always afraid that I'd fall out of it or something. As strange as this may be, I find myself wanting a tree house more now than I did then because I can only imagine what a great writing/studying/praying space it would be. Lol. When I get out on my own, I'm tempted to build one just because I can. Even if I don't have children.

  2. I don't think that's strange at all! Ooooh, I want a treehouse too! I'll pretend it's my son's. ;) But you should totally build one just because you can.

    I think we all go through times like that with writing when it seems forced. And I know sometimes I do force it, and I know that, and I'm okay with it. But I think sometimes we should just let it flow. =)