“All good writing is like swimming underwater and holding your breath.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
I am plunging into unknown water, searching for the words to connect swimming, breathing, and writing. Diving under, pushing off and looking around, feeling the movement and the pressure, rising and breaking through the surface to gasp air into my lungs. I fall back into that moment as I try to recapture those sensations in language.
Releasing my breath, my mind is flooded with words, some drifting past like ocean flotsam, others luring me into the currents of memory. I wonder which shore will receive me.
I learned to swim and to read at just about the same time. I loved to take the deepest breath and swim underwater as far as I could. The hours and days submerged in books took me beyond space and time.
My writing begins with jotted notes and lists of words. I set my timer for ten minutes of focus and keep pen on paper without pausing for spelling, grammar or logic. Repeat. Repeat again.
Capturing my experiences in writing helps me have greater clarity about what I truly need and what actions I must take in order to change.
What do you do to clear your mind of distractions?
Cate Fitt, a.k.a. knitfitt, has been a member of Etsy since 2007 and is an experienced critic, curator and juror. She earned her MFA in fiber in 1978, later receiving an artist’s fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Through the years, she’s been a maker of one-of-a-kind hand-painted clothing, pottery, jewelry, and linocut and monotype prints. She lives in a little house close to the James River with two whippets named Moose and Peach.