Why You Should Practice AIS: A** in Seat
As a writer, you know there is a lot involved. Folks who are not participants in the creative craft might only think of the words that are put by a writer to paper. They won’t necessarily reflect on all the gathering of information—the observations of people, both deliberate and incidental, the reading and re-reading of already published books and stories, the seemingly wasted time spent by writer daydreaming which in actuality is the integral brainstorming period. And of course there are the steps you need to take after the piece is created, the editing and submittal, crafting of query letters, hardening your heart and drying your eyes in response to rejections—(is that just me?) All of this is necessary, the breath the artist needs to create, but I want to talk with you for a minute about AIS or, to spell it out elegantly: A** in Seat.
AIS is arguably the most important step a writer must take. It’s when the writer sittings in front of a computer screen or typewriter or with pen and paper in hand and actually writes or… doesn’t do anything at all. And that’s what’s so interesting about AIS—even when not writing, just in the forced stillness and concentration on writing things are happening.
Are you antsy? Many of us have a hard time sitting still for ten minutes let alone two hours or more. I understand it can be challenging, but even more challenging is writing your novel when you are doing everything but writing. AIS forces you to be face to face with your choice of writing implement and in that way face to face with your desire to write. This is especially important for those of you who are just starting out and perhaps still scratching your heads wondering if writing is even the thing for you. A lot of that doubt is just your fears working, attempting to sabotage your writing plans. AIS can help cement in your own head—the most important and often treacherous critic, that in fact you have a right to create stories and that you are a writer.
Those who have been writing for a while undoubted practice AIS to a set schedule, for instance a lot of writers have specific hours reserved for writing and do it in the morning, afternoon or evening at a set time on certain days or every day. Stephen King is notorious for writing everyday regardless of holidays. What AIS does is create a regimen and forces your brain to take you seriously. Inside the space of time are when ideas can come or the words themselves. And no, AIS doesn’t have to mean actually writing, though it would be nice. There will be times when little or nothing comes—don’t despair. Perhaps you might chose to do a writing exercise instead or pick up a book and read for a few minutes, close it and see of anything comes to you. It doesn’t matter how you use the time—only that you give yourself the opportunity to have it. You are a writer. I’m excited for you—you should be too!