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Seven Thoughts from Zen and the Pen

January 27, 2017

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I purchased Zen and the Pen by Robert Christopher (End Cottage Press: 2013) at the Japanese Garden in North Clifton some months ago but only got round to reading it this week. Below are seven thoughts distilled from the book which aims to stimulate the reader to writer his/her own book in 90 days.

  1. The Way of the Samurai was to move forward rapidly in the spirit of Bushido, and then retreat until the spirit moved him again. (This has been the way of my writing while my creative energies have been engaged in other projects.)
  2. The author recommends listening to your own mind telling its unique story, written in your own special voice. (Through meditation I have thought of a new writing project.)
  3. He also suggests adopting Steinbeck’s style of keeping a day book in which the left hand page is used as a sounding board (for diary style writing and thinking) and the right hand side is used for the day’s essay/unique story. (A blank spiral bound pad of paper awaits my pen and I will give this method a go.)
  4. The fourth thought is that success in writing is more about the journey than the destination. Robert Christopher also invites us to consider remaking a journey.      (Ian and I are hoping to remake our motorhome tour of New Zealand this year. We are currently on standby as tour escorts for three trips.)
  5. Zen and the Pen tells us to write about our own dream/wish and its possible fulfilment. (Being ‘On Standby’ is the theme of my new writing project.)
  6. Another section of the book suggests starting one’s own archive today. This involves collecting material so that it is ready when the opportunity comes along. (I have several awaiting publication.)
  7. Thought seven is about what you would like to spend the next ten years perfecting. (If like me ten years is too big a chunk of time to contemplate, how about five?

I hope you find these thoughts useful points for reflection and wish you happy writing in the Year of the Rooster.

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