Why I Write
I write to amuse myself, to see what comes out or, as someone famous once said, 'to find out what I am really thinking'. To be quite honest, I think my thoughts are better on paper. Words stumble and fumble out of me and I lower my eyes and send out unspoken apologies when I try and speak. Writing is clearer, more strident, more ... what I really think.
I write because if I don't write I become dark and mean and bitter and twisted and frustrated and I froth at the mouth and spit fire.
I write because it puts what's inside of me on the outside of me.
Its sweet relief and gentle progress. Word therapy.
I write because I am shite at drawing and painting.
Because words are the way I paint pictures.
Words are the bomb.
Words are bombs.
Writing leaves a mark. Good writing leaves an indelible mark.
To write a picture that another person can look at and say 'Hey, hang on ... that's me!' - now thats something.
How does my writing differ from others in my genre?
I am not sure what genre I fall into? As a blog writer I think my writing is different as it aims only to share a moment with the reader. More forthright blogs that teach or tell or have themes can be so fantastic, but my blog writing does not seek to teach or instruct in any way. I am just sharing thoughts and ideas as they come in a stream of consciousness. My only agenda is the desire to connect.
Why do I write what I do?
Last year I lost my father and I couldn't stop myself from writing about that. Its not easy to read other people's difficult emotions, I know that. But after one of my posts a woman wrote this to me "I lost my husband suddenly, inexplicably, almost six months ago. Your beautiful words here sum up exactly how I feel. Thank you."
A few short months earlier my beloved aunt died and I couldn't stop myself writing about that. My cousins read my blog post as my aunt's eulogy.
I wrote two posts years ago - one about restlessness and the other about presence and they struck a chord with other women.
Thats why I write what I do. In the hope that what I express touches and connects me to someone else. That the story I am writing is not just my story and that what I write could mean something to someone I have never even met.
What am I working on?
Today I started work on a novel - a story for young girls. In ten months time I will have a first draft in my hands.
I write for my luthier at www.philipsmithluthier.com
I have joined a Writing group and now I call myself a 'writer', just in case its true.
And I have invited a friend to work with me to turn this piece into something. She has agreed to help me create a book from it, agreed to turn the words into actual pictures and I will watch her in awe.
A recent course called "Unlocking Creativity" taught me the discipline of short, timed bursts of writing to themes. No time to edit or proof as you go. Silence that inner critic and "Just get it out, baby, get it all out!". This process taught me a LOT.
Did you ever watch the Elizabeth Gilbert TED talk where she describes the Greek concept of the muse and the Roman concept of 'genius' as a being or force separate from yourself? A force that inspires and generates the work of writers and artists? Where the inspiration works through you and is not of you? I get that.
When I write blog posts I lie sequestered in my bed - (my favourite place in all the world) with my scruffy dog curled up like a hairy doughnut nearby. I look out of the window, through the magnolia tree with its fairy flowers or its barren stalks and up to that sweet little nest at its top. I take in a great big breathe then I write ... whatever. I have been known to type a whole post on that ridiculously small keyboard on my phone. Being alone and writing relatively uninterrupted, in our tiny Smith house bursting with five people and a dog, is the most lavish luxury I have. I dream of a study, one's very own room, just like Virginia, but until then ...