Kroeker & Craig’s “On Being a Writer,” chapter 2

Chapter 2: Arrange

(quoting Wendell Berry’s essay “The Specialization of Poetry”) The conflicts of life and work, like those of rest and work, would ideally be resolved in balance: enough of each. In practice, however, they probably can be resolved (if that is the word) only in tension, in a principled unwillingness to let go of either, or to sacrifice either to the other.”

Amen, Mr. Berry. (It’s not the first time I’ve amen’d you, sir.)

Writing? Check. Family? Check. If I check out of Thanksgiving dinner to write, that’s weird. If I take 30 minutes at 5 a.m. to write on Thanksgiving Day, no one will miss me, and it might give me strength I need to deal with anything … unusual. Then the next morning, I might need to get up early and write again about everything that happened. Or not. Maybe I’ll write about how my dogs don’t want to walk when it’s 21 degrees outside. They’ve started sharing a bed, cuddling together and sleeping their way through winter.

I generally make it a habit to write most every day, just as I pray most every day and exercise most every day. The dailiness brings gifts. I assume my life depends on me doing these things daily, and it probably does.

Rest, though. Hmmm. [Note: Chapter 11 is titled Rest, so there will be more to come on this subject.]


  1. “The dailiness brings gifts.” I think this is true of a lot of habits, like daily gratitude or singing or, as you say, prayer and exercise. Glad to think with you about this.

  2. Love that you reminded me of dailiness. Having young wise friends is sweet— I was 70 years old when I finally connected the beauty of dailiness (thanks to Jane Elwood) to my comfort in Liturgy.