Slow Down!

Beware of the anti-muse, she who distracts you and leaves you exhausted in a state of pique.  ~Christopher Richards

This quote made me laugh with recognition, as does Christopher’s site today with the animated cartoon advertising Slow Down Week (who knew this was Slow Down Week?) For me the anti-muse is decidedly busy-ness. Distraction, exhaustion, pique. I’ve never heard more apt adjectives for the effects of busy-ness.

And the antidote to the anti-muse, for me, is mindfulness. Noticing. Curiosity. Being present in my body (hmm, my hands are cold; hmm, my back is tired; hmm, I need to take a deep breath; hmm, something smells wonderful in the kitchen). Stillness. Pausing. Engaging. Being here now.

My best writing practice sessions begin with sensing the world around me and describing that as unconsciously as I can. “DON’T THINK,” is Ray Bradbury’s wise advice for writers. Thinking is the death of creativity, bringing with it judging, censoring, intention, self-consciousness, and abstraction, none of which will engage the reader. 

So, I for one will participate in Slow Down Week for the remainder of this week (as best I can in the midst of overstimulation, hyperactivity, and “noise” of all kinds). How about you?


One Response to Slow Down!

  1. Thanks for the quote. There was a great line in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (some clips can be seen on Youtube) where Reggie is in conversation with C.J., his boss. Reggie starts out by saying, ” Now C.J., I think…” But he is cut off by C.J.’s rejoinder, “Reggie, I didn’t get where I am today by thinking.”

    Now I ponder these sagacious words, I didn’t get to where I am today by thinking either. There is a lot to be said for not thinking. The trouble is, it’s so hard to achieve.

    I shall be back for more.


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