Why I Write What I Write (And Other Pressing Questions)
June 8, 2014 § 7 Comments
When invited by the gracious and gifted Sue Ann Gleason to participate in a “blog-hop” about writing, I jumped in with a “yes”. What could be more fun than writing about writing? (Some of you groan, but you others, you’ll know what I mean. There’s a certain satisfaction involved.)
In my enthusiasm, however, I neglected to see ~ right there in the first line of the invitation ~ that I’d also need to solicit other writers-with-blogs to do the same. (Thus the “hopping” aspect. Right!) But that got done, too, and I’m so pleased to welcome my fellow hoppers (and beautiful souls all, I have to say) at the end of this post ~ and I encourage you to check out their contributions in about a week!
Now, without further ado, my response to the four questions each of us have been asked to answer. Hope you enjoy.
What am I working on/writing?
I’m thinking this question ought to be what am I not working on/writing? But I’ll try not to break the rules right off the bat here, and answer the question as is. So here I go.
Having recently finished writing and illustrating my third children’s book, I assumed I’d re-engage with one of several unfinished pieces that got usurped by the onslaught of dragons inhabiting my world for a while ~ among them, in various stages of completion, a murder novel, a young adult novel, and a love story. But the truth is, I’ve been feeling a stronger pull back to my poetic roots. While I adore a good story, and it pains the Virgo in me to leave things undone, I truly must go where the spirit leads. That’s usually how it works for me. We’ll see then which takes the cake.
How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
True confession: When I was in high school, I realized I had a marketable skill. I could pretty much copy anybody’s handwriting. I’m not saying any more than that… except how it relates to my answer of this question, which is that I’ve always taken pride in my ability to cross borders, so to speak.
I don’t really have one genre, but different voices for different purposes. Maybe it’s a kind of artistic cross-training. In my design work, for example, I don’t care if it’s dog food, swiss bank accounts or skateboards, I’ll “get it”; I aim to pull out the expressive essence of each. With painting and illustration, I have a few different styles. If we’re talking about writing, I guess I’d like to think I write with a kind of colorful intelligence (that phrase just came to me – what do you think?), whether it’s a marketing piece, a short story, a poem.
So I don’t know that this makes me different from others, but it’s the best answer I can think of for now ~ simply being able to play different parts.
Why do I write what I do?
I write because to write is to breathe. To write is to untangle my thoughts, weave them into something more lovely and meaningful. And then there are all those fabulous words, and the countless, magnificent ways to arrange them! Writing is endless possibility, and thoughtful communication, and I probably write because I’m genetically wired to adore the play and value of the written word.
There are few things I “have” to do, but along with art, writing is one of them. Bottom line, there’s really no choice in the matter. : )
On a less fanciful note, I also write some things because I get paid to do so. The more busines-oriented pieces might not be suitably prone to prose or heart-speak, but I enjoy them nonetheless because of that DNA thing, and because they still have to do with the magic of combining all sorts of marvelous words.
How does my writing process work?
Get comfortable. Pause. Let it rip. Stare at page. Re-read. Let it rip some more. Flow, flow, flow. Try not to do too much self-correction; just get it out. Then……….. edit, edit, edit. (Note: the entire process is usually infused with much tea-drinking).
Sometimes I write with a pen, more often with a keyboard. I also tend to use whatever’s handy when ideas strike ~ could be a paper towel, a page in my daytimer, the inside of matchbook, a grocery receipt or yes, even the palm of my hand. (Of course, when the hand-scribbling happens people usually look at me with a ‘what, are you still, like, 3-years-old?’ kind of look. Some actually say it out loud.)
Probably the most important part of the process, though, is loving it. Enjoying it. And going with it.
And now, my talented blog mates:
Sue Ann Gleason, creator of Chocolate for Breakfast, the Well-Nourished Woman, and the Luscious Legacy Project, is a lover of words, a strong believer in the power of imagination, and a champion for women who want to lead a more delicious, fully expressed life. Sue Ann has been featured in Oprah and Runner’s World magazines and numerous online publications. When not working with private clients or delivering online programs, she can be found sampling exotic chocolates, building broccoli forests in her mashed potatoes, or crawling into bed with freshly sharpened pencils and pages that turn.
Bernadette Smith is the resident muse of MuseFusions. A writer and artist, she makes marks on paper with words and paint. Strives to be messy and playful. Casts all “shoulds” to the wind. Surrounds herself with artful and literary eye candy. Finds courage in embracing her vulnerability publicly. And, when she makes a real mess, she upcycles, repurposes and takes recreation in her re-creation.Her fidgety fascination with the power of words to heal birthed Enlightened Ink and published “Bernadette’s Pages: An Intimate Crossroad,” a book that journeys through the “I do but he doesn’t” time in her marriage. (Because life’s messy moments are invitations to love.) Bernadette also spends time in people’s homes and closets. (No, she’s not a voyeur or stalker.) She offers a holistic blend of Feng Shui, de-cluttering and organizing through her company, Enlightened Interiors.
My name is Ella and I am an artist, a single mom of 2 amazing kids, and a survivor of domestic violence. I started the Rebel Thriver Blog as a way to connect to others and share my story. Being labeled a survivor wasn’t comfortable for me; I needed more. And I desperately wanted others to see that they could have it too…that you can choose to thrive in spite of your situation. Facebook followed and has allowed Rebel Thriver to grow into an online community. The support, love, honesty, and inspiration is alive in abundance on our page.
We only get one chance at this sweet life, so I encourage everyone to wake up and live. You may have been knocked down, but that story does not have to define you, for you hold the pen to the story of your life. Raise your eyes to the sky, throw your shoulders back, put on your imaginary crown and say, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life”. Make it count.
Irish born, but with South Africa in her heart and soul, Fiona Dunphy has recently returned to Ireland from her beloved South Africa where she now lives with her two daughters. Already a Reiki Master Practitioner, Reflexologist and Crystal Healer, she’s heading back to college to add counselling and psychotherapy to her ever growing holistic health offerings.
She has always written – both for herself and for corporate clients. Recently her writing took a very personal turn following the breakdown of her marriage. Fiona writes from the heart; filled with love, with pain, with honesty, plenty of tears, and a good sprinkling of humour. Follow her Talking Healing Blog or her Facebook page, The Healing Room, or even encourage her very reluctant attempts at Twitter.
Writing is an art form, a practical tool, a verbal dance, a necessity. It’s something we interact with daily ~ and something some of us delve into deeply and with gusto, where others may struggle. I’d love to hear your comments on how writing fits into your world! ~ Patricia