Nicole Dieker hopes she’ll get to teach another HappyWriter course soon, and she promises she’ll tell you as soon as the next one is set up.
Yesterday, I had my second session with a group of HappyWriter students, discussing how to build a creative practice and what to do when life gets in the way.
One of my students asked a very interesting question about — well, I won’t tell you what the question was, because that feels like it violates teacher/student confidentiality, but I will tell you how I answered:
“There are going to be times, for all of us, when life becomes unstable. You’re going to be tempted to let your writing practice go during those times — and that is always an option. My personal creative practice kind of disappeared at the beginning of the pandemic, and it disappeared again when I bought and moved into my first house this summer. I know what it’s like to have a concern that’s so pressing that it dominates your thoughts and makes it very difficult to think of, much less create, anything new.”
“But,” I continued, “if you find yourself in a situation where the instability or flux or stuckness is somewhat open-ended, if the issue is less that you’re spending six weeks moving into a house and more that you don’t know what your life is going to look like in six months, let your creative practice be your anchor. Make the time, keep the time, do the work. Your anchor can keep you in place, even if you’re in the middle of some very rough water.”
“And then,” I said, “when the water is calm again and you can start moving, your anchor comes with you. Because that’s how boats work.”
I mean, I only know a very little about how boats work, but L confirmed that both my physics and my metaphor were in the right place.
He also asked me, mostly as a joke, if I told the class that the only reason I could make a boat metaphor at all was because he and I spent so much time on his pontoon boat last summer.
I hadn’t mentioned it, nor did I even hint that L was the person who taught me to love boats and lakes and coves and kayaks — which is why I’m telling you now. ❤️