What does it take for a writer to write? My favorite writer, Flannery O’Connor, gave this advice “Apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” But, Flannery, for me, and many others, it’s not that easy. Let me give you a few of my excuses for not getting words on paper.
First, I need to have something to say. I need time to think, not just from my brain, but from my heart. At my home, the distractions lure me from the computer like a devious angel. She whispers in my head, “Better run a load of washing before you start writing that short story.” “Make your bed!” “Take a shower!” “Pay your bills.” “Maybe you need to run to the store for milk, for eggs and maybe more Kleenex.”
She is no help at all. My house is neat, the refrigerator stocked, but my stories will never get written if I listen to her.
So what is a well-intentioned writer to do? I think of really great stories to write while I’m going to sleep or on first waking up in the morning. And, of course, the creative ideas roll in like ocean waves while I’m driving around town doing the errands the angel requires. My daughter thinks I have nothing to do since I’m retired. What a laugh! Wish I could show her my list of twenty things that must get done this week.
Is there a solution? Yes, of course. A much nicer angel beckons me to think, to write, to relax in the rolling hills and heavenly vistas at Jordan Hill Farm in central Kentucky. The good angel at Jordan Hill invites me to sit and write by the fireside in the house where history speaks from hand-hewn logs and native stone from the nearby creek. When the good angel lures me outside, the scenery is magnificent, whatever the season. The peace of the place is a writer’s dream. Here at Jordan Hill Farm, I can write, write, write and think, think, think. And you can, too!
Written By: Sandra Plant
Sandra Plant lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she writes (in between errands) and teaches a creative writing class called “Telling Your Story.” Retired after a 34-year career in public relations and community relations, her writing credits include writing for magazines and newspapers, chapters and stories in several anthologies, and way too many unpublished short stories. She is currently writing a book set beside the Tennessee River near Guntersville, Alabama. She has taught a two-day session of “Telling Your Story” at Jordan Hill Farm and will return for an encore in Spring of 2019.