<$Susan Goodwill$>

Friday, September 29, 2006

Zen and a Clean Dish

I have been reading the new Janet Evanovich, "How I Write." She says that you should treat your writing like any other job. She says something like, "If you needed money and had to work at the Seven Eleven, you'd go do it. And when you were at work, that's all you would do. Work." I'm paraphrasing so forgive me, but you get the point.
It reminded me of something another writer-- the phenomenal Barbara Samuel once said. There is a story she told about a writer who asks his Buddhist master what to do to get on the path to accomplishing his writing goals. The master tells him that, much like the path to enlightenment, every day he should wash his bowl. She goes on to tell that the gist of the story is to do the work without asking the work to do anything for you. You wouldn't ask the Seven Eleven to bring you anything. It's just what you are To Do that day.

I am just trying to show up and wash my bowl every day right now. That means pounding out words-- some good, some bad, and every once in a while something wonderful happens.

Off to wash my bowl.