January 11, 2014

Hibernate to or Hibernate from - Connie Inglis

To Hibernate (from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary):
  1. to pass the winter in a torpid or resting state
  2. to be or become inactive or dormant 

Do you ever feel the need or desire to hibernate from your writing--to become inactive and dormant?  With all the Christmas and New Year's activities this past month, I feel like the opposite has been true. While I love the holidays, I also do like returning to routine and writing calls me back like a long-lost friend.  However, it is also true that even in routine I get pulled in different directions and writing gets put on the back burner more often than I care to admit. And thus I must fight to be able to hibernate "to" writing rather than hibernate "from" writing. Is there anyone else out there that has this same dilemma?

Julia Cameron's book, The Right to Write, has some excellent thoughts and exercises for writers. I recently read the chapter entitled, "Loneliness" and felt it spoke to this "hibernation" subject. Here's a quote from the beginning of the chapter:

"So much has been written about the loneliness of the writer's lot that it feels like heresy to report the truth as I know it: in my experience, not writing is a lonely business. The minute I let myself write, everything else falls into balance. If I get a dose of writing in my day, then I can actually socialize with a clear conscience." 

Her words got me thinking--maybe my issue is that I'm NOT writing and thus easily pulled into other things, things that sometimes are of no value. Part of my problem is that I feel like I need a big chunk of time in order to write, which isn't true. Half an hour here, 15 minutes there. Even if it's just a quick writing exercise, it's still writing. When I've done this is the past, it rejuvenates and refreshes me and yet I seem to easily forget that. Needless to say, I am still working through all this. 

Cameron also goes on to say that writing is a "balm for loneliness"--that it connects us to ourselves and then to others. I would agree but I would also like to add to that. As a follower of Jesus, I also believe it connects us to God. He is our Creator and He created us to write. He put in us this desire, this need, this "gift" (If I may say) to write. So when we write, we are glorifying God and praising Him for the way He made us. 

THAT'S the right perspective--and THAT'S the way I need to view writing.


  1. Funny you should be reading Julia Cameron's book right now. I just discovered it and am a few chapters in. One of the things I much appreciate about it is the exercises she includes at the end of each chapter. Those things have really got my writing juices flowing, so I think they would move others past some of the writer's block stuff she mentions in the chapters.

    She's not writing to a specifically Christian crowd, though thoughts of God seem to hover under the surface of her commentary. I find it easy to take her insights and extend them deeper, as you have done. There's so much to like about this book - thanks for reviewing it!

  2. Yes to that last line! I read The Artist's Way in the 90's, I guess it has has a resurgence in popularity lately. Will check out the book...

  3. Connie,

    I totally agree with your statement that when we study God's Word and write we are glorifying Him. As you said: As a follower of Jesus, I also believe it connects us to God. He is our Creator and He created us to write.

    Are you on Twitter? If so what is your Name?
    Janis www.janiscox.com

  4. Sorry Janice, I am not on Twitter. I don't even have my own cell phone (my husband and I share one)--hahaha. Part of third-world country living will always stay with me.

  5. this definitely sounds like an inspiring book and I agree wholeheartedly with the premise

  6. I agree with you that writing connects us to ourselves, each other, and ultimately to God who has created us with the desire to create. And how true, too, that writing rejuvenates, even if it is just for 1/2 hour or 15 minutes. How difficult it is, though, to break that mentality that we need a big chunk of time to write. I'm with you on that!

  7. Actually writing, rather than just thinking about it, rejuvenates me too. I feel better when I write. I am trying the short time method too. Since the New Year, I am trying to be sitting at my writing table downstairs at 11:00 a.m. Not at my computer right then, just with my pen, paper, Bible, and any notes I've made previously. I begin the hour with a short devotional reading that includes scripture.

    That doesn't mean working on fb or email or anything else, just writing new words. I find when I do this the rest of the day revolves around writing and I manage to fill in 15 minutes or a half hour of writing here and there throughout the day.

    Cameron's book sounds interesting. Thanks.

  8. Connie,

    I've always been inspired by Julia's book. I always want to write after I read her... a good thing!

    For me too, writing connects me to God. He writes on our hearts and then we write it back to Him...truth, beauty, words of eternal life.

    I enjoyed your take on the theme of hibernation.

    Thanks, Connie!


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.