I got to talking with my writing buddy, Laura Bickle, last night. She’s gearing up for the release of Rogue Oracle, the second in her forensic Tarot series that she writes as Alayna Williams.
Dealing with the selling end of stuff is not so fun. Especially for those of us who were never really inclined to be marketers in the first place. Those occasional writers who also love to find more and better ways to get their books out there are blessed with a lucky combination of talents. However, most of the time, the personality and skill combination that makes us good at sitting by ourselves, dreaming up stories is not ideal for the high-octane racetrack of American supply and demand.
It’s a challenge.
As we discussed her plans, I made an offhand comment about at least keeping the writing time sacred. The word struck her, because she’d never thought of it that way before.
I tend to think more in terms of the sacred, perhaps because I was a religious studies major in college. The commonalities among religions across the world fascinated me and I searched out those those themes. The sacred is that which is consecrated, from the Latin sacrāre, to devote. It simply means “reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object.” Other definitions carry ideas about deities or the divine or the holy. But in its purest sense, the sacred is about devotion.
Not many of us starting writing for the money. We write first and foremost out of love. Love of the stories we’ve read, longing to tell stories of our own. If the writing itself isn’t kept sacred, it can get eroded by the clamor and tumult of the world.
It’s not easy, to keep the writing sacred.
It requires sacrifice, a word that comes from the same beginnings as sacred. We all know there’s no such thing as something for nothing. Sometimes keeping the writing space sacred means giving up a pleasure, like computer games. Or relinquishing the idea that we can be everything to everyone. Sacrifice is painful, by definition.
Sometimes I think of it as, to create the sacred space, I have to destroy what’s occupying that space. It might be something I really enjoy. An overriding idea through many spiritual practices is that greater sacrifices yield greater returns.
That’s what creates the sacred.
9 Replies to “Writing as Sacred Space”
This really struck a chord with me today — thank you! You are entirely right. I've recently slipped away from giving my fiction writing the Best of Linda, instead tossing it Linda Leftovers. Not good.
Thanks for a timely reminder!
I'm to the point of carving out sacred – as in dedicated and consecrated – space if it will help me get my head right. Ritual and repetition, right? 🙂
See, I'm probably better at the marketing side of it. LOL I am still working on carving out that sacred time/space/devotion to my writing. And you, God bless you, keep reminding me of the importance of doing so! 🙂
Love that – "Linda Leftovers." That's a great analogy. It's unfortunate that we're susceptible to that drift, to letting everything else come first. Go it, baby!
Excellent addition, Marcella. Maybe that should be tomorrow's post: the crucial importance of Ritual and Repetition. We definitely want your head right!
I do what I can, Elizabeth!
Jeffe, since I'm currently going through a marketing scheme and edits and trying to write another novel all at the same time, your post couldn't have come at a better time. I had to scold myself this weekend because I hadn't met my personal deadline for this newest novel. I sacrificed my sacred writing time to do other things and now I'm trying to make up for that.
I'm still mulling over this today. When did writing lose its sacredness for me? I'm not sure. I am hopeful that I can catch some bit of that back.
Because, really….there's only so much time and soul-stuff to go around. I'll be honest…marketing makes me miserable. I love the act of writing, being lost in a story, but the business end of things just chews at me and begins to taint the whole process.
There has to be a way to, I dunno…purify the process. I will let you know when I figure it out. 😉
I totally picture you going all Valkyrian and destroying those things that threaten the sacred space.
~off to find metal chest plate~
It's easy to do, Danica. That's why the writing time has to be sacred, so it can't be nibbled away.
We await your thoughts on purification, Laura! It's an interesting idea.
That's right, KAK! ~swings sword in a bright arc~