Tuesday, May 21, 2013


"...continuance in a state of grace to the end."

This, then, is how I view writing. It is never so much about a conscious effort on my part about style and method, though those things are ever at the back of my mind when I compose. My friend Keith flatters me by suggesting that words "sing"from my fingertips, but that isn't quite right. For me, it is always the effort to find that "state of grace" that allows the story to migrate from the chaos of my imagination out to the keyboard.

It sounds rather mystic and nearly comic as I re-read this last paragraph., but it is the truth. The process of writing, for me, begins with that spark of inspiration - wherever it may happen. From there, it is a never ending search for that train of thought (I have heard athletes and musicians call it "the flow") that will lead to an ease of placement. One word after another in a rhythm that pulls all the techniques and skills that I have learned over the years into line, thereby taking the effort (perspiration, if you will) of writing to a "state of grace".

This is not an easy thing to accomplish. Grace is, for me, fleeting and fickle. The least thing can cause it to falter, fading like a dream interrupted. This is why I persevere. I have to keep working at it because it does not come readily to me. Yes, inspiration is the easy bit, though I may be in the minority in this. However, the rhythm that allows my stories to "flow smoothly" as Keith is wont to tell me, is hard to achieve. Nor does it come when desired. Thus, I must continue to bang away at the keyboard - revision after revision - until grace finds me.



  1. I'm in 'the flow' when I realize 3 hours has depleted my coffee and washed me twelve pages down river into my story, like last Sunday.
    I'm not complaining... Just a little tired of sucking in my gut behind my tight bathing suit whenever the ladies walk by. It's exhausting!

  2. What? I'm beyond all that! No lady is going to give me a second glance and sucking in my gut is impossible without the help of a tow truck, two elephants, a rhino, and some of Dr. Lechter's personal tools. As for you, my dear friend Mike, your words do sing from your fingers. I am not naïve enough to believe that your early drafts "sing". As with the rest of us, I would imagine there are a lot of 'index moaning' going on. I just prefer not to hear it. There are enough crappy sounds coming out of my own home.

  3. mike, do you find that 'state of grace'comes more easily with practice and disapline as you continue to work? i find that i am less distracted as i work harder on a project? grace comes more easily through perseverance? annie