I like to write in such a way that I am aware of the earth beneath me.
I like to feel the richness and groundedness of the body and all that is below.
It’s not something I focus on in a way that pulls my attention from my writing, but rather, a faint yet palpable experience that I invite into the background of my perception.
I am free to think and write and mutter to myself and do whatever else I feel like doing as I write. And in the background, I feel supported. I feel the earth.
I wonder sometimes if this helps me stay on topic rather than get pulled one direction or another as I write. If anything, it doesn’t hurt.
If my ideas fly sometimes like a kite in a heavy gale, my connection to the earth helps unify these thoughts with my intended trajectory.
So it has become a practice to tune into my feet when I get stuck or uninspired or especially when I feel clouded by vague or scattered ideas.
Your feet can teach you the richness of simplicity and directness
If you get hung up on wording, see if you can let that go. Affirm to yourself that the right words are the ones that happen to be there for you at the moment.
Unless you’re writing a thesaurus, it’s really not about the words. It’s about the experience that the reader is invited to have.
Yes, yes, I know it’s writing, and writing is all about words. You have to use words if you want to write, and if you expect to say anything with precision, you need to use the exact words that can bring that experience.
But I haven’t gotten better as a writer by stopping myself and obsessing over language. When I am writing, I write, and that is how I get better as a writer — from the actual experience itself.
When I want to obsess over words, then I will obsess over words. Just not while I’m writing. I would rather write than be perfect.
I love words. I am not advocating for imprecision or blurry language. Instead, the aim here is to strive for a focused practice so that when you write, you are in the flow. This brings an immediacy to your phrasing that is far more valuable than having big words.
It’s going to be one of two ways in terms of the experience the reader has of your writing. Either it will read like an oversampled and cobbled together piece with correct-sounding words, or the flow of language will feel sharp and living.
My priority is on the whole, not the parts.
The parts are best studied outside the experience of writing. When you are writing, no need to obsess over the parts. Otherwise the writing will carry some bit of blurriness borne from this back-and-forth self-correction.
So, to recap: your feet understand something very profound. Good writing is not about being clever.
When in doubt, see what your feet can add to the experience.