This wonderful Japanese phrase translates to mean the instant a chick pecks on the inside shell while its mother pecks on the outside and the shell cracks, and new life emerges. The author Jane Yolen in her insightful book “Take Joy: A Book for Writers” connects this phrase to what happens to a writer: a story idea physical taps inside our minds, we answer with intent to write, and a story emerges as the two come together.
If you want to read an uplifting, “feel good” book about writing performed for the joy of the process, then pick up Yolen’s book and cancel the evening’s appointments. There are so many wonderful thoughts, anecdotes, quotable quotes in this thin paperback that I’d spoil it for you if I mentioned to many of them, but here’s one that puts things in perspective:
“I contend it’s not the writing that makes writers miserable. It is the emphasis on publication.”
We all struggle with hypchondriac-like symptoms: the process, the rejections, writer’s block, you name it. Writers at times seem more intent on defining ways not to put words on the paper as they are in producing daily word counts. But at least, with Yolen’s advice, one can turn the process into something joyful.