On Delight and the Gift of Paying Attention

Now that we are into the hectic holidays with all those lists of shoulds and wants, it's especially important to remind ourselves to s l o w  d o w n:

put the phone away, turn off the TV, take a Twitter vacation.

When someone is talking to you, look them in the eyes and really, really listen.

What a gift that is! Not only to the other person, but to ourselves.

We only get this one precious life -- let's live it, each and every moment, shall we?

And you know, as writers, it's this kind of focused attention that fuels our best work.

It's from paying attention that great ideas are born.

It's from paying attention that we make the good bit of writing sing right off the page.

 It's from paying attention that we learn how our writing practice can bring meaning to our lives, and to our readers' lives.

So, this holiday season, no matter where you are in your writing life, go out there (or stay inside!) and pay attention. That's where the delight is!

Irene Latham is a poet and novelist from Birmingham, Alabama. Her books for children include Leaving Gee's Bend, Don't Feed the Boy, Dear Wandering Wildebeest, and two new poetry collections When the Sun Shines On Antarctica and Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers' Market will be released in 2016. She's working on paying better attention and finding delight in her writing every day. irenelatham.com


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