Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Simple Life. Is it Possible?

Writer’s Journey Wednesday with O

Annette and I are so happy to welcome our good friend and critique partner, Ocieanna Fleiss, to the staff here at Seriously Write. Ocieanna will be our regular contributor on Writer’s Journey Wednesdays, sharing her humor and wisdom as she travels on her own journey. Occasionally, a guest writer will pop in and visit, giving this busy author and mother of four a break. But today, enjoy what she has to say about living the simple life.

The Simple Life. Is it Possible?

by Ocieanna Fleiss

Well, maybe if you’re a nun. Seriously. While clicking through channels on TV recently, I saw three nuns sitting across from Oprah. Nuns? These long-frocked gals hadn’t crossed my radar for years. But their unfamiliar world niggled my curiosity, and I continued watching.

The show followed three new, young nuns through their typical day in the convent. They each seemed to embrace the regimented routine, lack of possessions, and service to others. In fact, they appeared to possess a peaceful joy that I rarely see in our society. The simplicity of their existence enticed me, drew me, and I found myself longing for what they have (or don’t have).

This coveting of nuns surprised me, so I’ve been pondering the concept of a simple life (what a concept!) and how I can apply it to writing.

The first thing I did was clear my workspace of clutter. It really struck me how calming the nun’s sparse room (called a cell) made me feel. My chaotic feelings often arise out of the clutter around me. So I’ve been trying (not always succeeding, but making progress) to keep my desk clean. And, when I sit down to a cleared desk, I can more easily focus on the thoughts and prayers that lead to good writing.

Next I realized these sweet ladies swam in a totally different world concerning time. Their routine was highly scheduled, (like mine) but not with a million tasks to be completed (unlike mine). Instead they made time to pray, contemplate, and study. Just writing those words gives me a sense of peace.

I’m pretty good about pausing for morning devotions, but once my day gets rolling, watch out! I’m like a train with scheduled stops. Step in my way and you could get hurt. So rather than rushing to push out five thousand words a day, I give myself permission to pray, think, and study (even in the middle of the day). To read a book slowly, chewing on the words as I go. To be in the moment, allowing time for the writing process instead of rushing through it.

These two simple steps have helped me begin my more peaceful road. Next time we’ll journey together through the question of finding peace with deadlines looming.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 ESV

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