Thursday, April 16, 2015

Forward Motion

This week the days have been bright and balmy. After a long, hard winter, days like these make it difficult to focus because I want to be outside basking in the warm April sun when I need to work. From my writing room window I see the dog walkers passing with their pack of dogs, and the runners sprinting down the street. For the most part, winter jackets have been shelved. Runners sport skimpy running gear. This says spring has sprung, and that winter is finally behind us une fois pour toutes.

To remain focus and on track, this week I had to go back to basics. I had to keep to a simple grid in order to move forward. Like I’ve done for the past eighteen years, my days began with my Morning Pages. Then I’d spend a couple of hours writing before heading out for a run, followed by my reward latte at Atlas Espresso Bar. Then there’s lunch and a little more writing before supper. In the evening, I try to catch up on my reading (at the moment Chaim Potok’s The Chosen and Jamie Freveletti’s The Geneva Strategy) and what’s going on in the world of social media. I go to bed early to rise early, the cycle beginning all over again in the morning.

My grade ten chemistry teacher, Mr. McRae, always started and finished each of his lectures with KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Every time Mr. McRae used the acronym, reminding us that systems work best when they are kept simple, we’d roll our eyes and snicker. But today, as a writer, KISS is invaluable advice. Holding to my simple grid, I remain focused, and my writing progresses one word at a time, one paragraph at a time. This allows me to bring a writing project, or any creative project, full circle. This week, remaining faithful to my grid, I finished (yesterday, 15 April 2015) a from-the-top rewrite of a novella.

The sun is receding, the day is drawing to a close. Having finished my novella, I’m feeling good about the day and the days that lie ahead. Going back to basics, setting up and holding to a simple grid, I’ve finished something. And like I’ve said before, finishing something shores up my writer’s foundation, and offers reassurance, when doubt lingers large and heavy, that I am in fact on the right path.


  1. Marcus, much congratulations to you for keeping it simple and stayed disciplined to make it to your finish line. Look forward to getting a copy of your publication. Anita P.

    1. Thanks, Anita. One day at a time is how I take it. Hope you are keeping well!