'Tis the season for wishing, for daring to let your thoughts wander through the realms of possibility. Writers are masterful wish-makers, even though we sometimes get discouraged when there is no genie in a bottle to grant the desires of our heart. Making wishes reality requires equal measure of work and whimsey. Flannery O'Connor knew that. She said she sat down at her desk every day from 10 until 12 so the muse would know where to find her. Some days I'm sure she felt alone, staring at her blank piece of paper. But on the days her muse joined her, there was magic in the room.
Most writers wish for more time, and I'm no exception. My writing time usually comes at the end of a long day, or in the few minutes between errands, or at the tail end of finishing some work. Right now I'm typing with one eye on the clock, knowing I have about 30 minutes before the next item on my agenda. But time is only as good as we make it. When given the gift of extra time, all too often I'm tempted to squander it scrolling through Facebook or Twitter feeds instead of putting my own words on the page.
The writer inside me wishes for quiet. The world is so raucous. It has become increasingly difficult for me to focus when I'm bombarded with noise. Music blares in every store, news feeds scroll across the bottom of the television screen, e-mail alerts beep and task reminders buzz. I am on a search for more stillness in my daily life. My morning walks through the neighborhood are an oasis of quiet. I breathe deeply in and out and try to let the perpetually racing thoughts slow to a steady crawl.
Every writer wishes for inspiration. Where does it come from? For me, it often comes from the words of writers I love. Classic authors like Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. Modern day favorites such as Anne Tyler, Mary Gordon, Anna Quindlen, Julia Glass, Alice Munro. Sometimes all it takes is a 30 minutes with one of their books and my fingers are itching to get at the keyboard.
"Tis the season for wishing.
What's at the top of your writer's wish list this year?