Guest Writer James DeVita on the Importance of Nothing Time

I first met actor, author, and playwright James DeVita when I was a scraggly four-eyed kid. My parents had taken me to his family play A Little House Christmas, and introduced me to him afterwards. He was the first author I ever met, and now I have the honor of presenting him to you here. 

River

I fish the rivers of Wisconsin every year. I’m a wader. I like to be in the water when I fish. I always fish alone. It is my meditation time. My nothing time. My favorite seasons are early spring and late fall. It’s very quiet then. No one is around. Desolate. The trees and sky can be stunning. Being a writer, one might think I get a lot of ideas during my hours on the water. Actually, the opposite is true. No ideas come to me while fishing. One can either fish, or think. If I am doing one, then I cannot do the other. I only fish artificials (lures), so there is a repetitive nature to what I do. Hours upon hours of the same exact motion of casting — over and over again – a sort of physicalized mantra. This takes up all of my thoughts. So although I don’t acquire any actual ideas for stories, the outdoor time is crucial to my being a writer. It opens me up somehow to larger ideas –- things that can’t actually be thought at that particular moment – but they can be experienced and just sort of taken in. They come back later as ideas. When they are ready.

 

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9 thoughts on “Guest Writer James DeVita on the Importance of Nothing Time

  1. Oh what a lovely post and your intro just set it up for me Jean. I was such an avid reader as a child. I read anything and everything and for me authors were THE best thing. Your feelings came through your words there, how could I help but warm James Devita, especially as once again, he shares about outdoor places being crucial to a writer? Thank you both x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy you enjoyed it! I love how Wisconsin has these amazing little hideaways away from the common roads and towns.
      I flew to the moon when he wrote back! It was such an honor that one of the greatest actors and writers in the state agreed to share this piece of his life. Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I can relate! Fishing is a cleansing ritual 🙂 Nothing like outdoor time for meditation and soaking in ideas. Like, you look at a tree but you learn about human soul. I don’t know how it happens, but it is the way Nature works 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First off, I loved A Winsome Murder. I am currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and I just read about the concept of “combinatory play.” It is a term Einstein used to describe the act of opening up one mental channel by dabbling in another. He often played the violin while faced with difficulty in solving a mathematical problem. Gilbert explains the technique as useful when you are struggling with your “project” – leave it and go do something else that is physical to reclaim your sense of ease. She cautions that it may sound like procrastination but with the right intention it is motion and it beats inertia. Inspiration is drawn to motion. Precisely what Mr. Devita is conveying here! Serendipity!

    My blog just moved so I am hoping my comment makes it to your page… I will be spending time reading here! http://ordinarycreative.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by! Yes, I discovered the importance of that physical break during my graduate school years. No matter the weather, I walked roughly one hour a day. That time away from the computer allowed my head a chance to NOT think. I always felt the better for it.
      I look forward to visiting your blog!

      Like

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