As I sit here this morning, we are getting our first snow of the winter. On days like this, I like to make a big, slow cooked soup, or a home made mac and cheese – genuine comfort food. There truly is something comforting about it. Sometimes, I like to cast my ambitions aside and engage in a bit of comfort writing, too.
Comfort writing is exactly what it sounds like. It is writing that I do for me. Writing to make me feel good. Here’s how I do it:
- First, I set my ambitions at bay. I don’t think about writing the Great American Novel, or something worthy of a contest entry. I don’t have any visions of grandeur. This will be writing for me. Writing that feels good.
- I turn off my inner editor. As much as possible, I just let the words flow and I don’t worry too much about the occasional typo. For me, it is amazing how much this one little thing reduces writing pressure. The less pressure, the better. I’m doing this for comfort.
- I set the environment. Start a roarin’ in the woodstove, brew a pot, set the station to classical. It’s all about comfort and low, low stress.
- Almost always, I’ll write fiction. Somehow, non-fiction just doesn’t seem to fit this scenario. With that said, sometimes I’ll just write down thoughts about what’s going on in my life. I don’t do it from a perspective of trying to solve any problems. I like to think of it as sometimes getting things off my chest, sometimes just reflecting on where I’m at.
- I don’t set time limits. I write as long as it’s comfortable. Sometimes it’s hours and at other times it may be less than an hour. The important thing is that I don’t try to box myself in. It’s all about being comfortable and if I set aside an afternoon for this and it doesn’t happen for some reason then that’s okay.
- I don’t plan on doing anything with whatever I write. I’ll usually save the documents but as I’m writing I don’t have any specific use in mind. If I wasn’t such a yunk about keeping everything, I would prolly just delete the document when I’m done for the day. It’s just too hard to do that.
I’ve found that this is a great exercise to open my writing channel. It’s like purging the system of any blockages. I’m not sure why it works so well, I just know that it does and that at the end of a comfort writing session I feel great.
How about you? Do you ever write just for the sake of comfort?