Posted by: scintillatingspeck | February 3, 2019

Writing a path to walk on.

I am on a writing retreat in Cameron, Wisconsin with a group of writing friends.  Yesterday I did some writing and felt mightily dissatisfied with it.  I wrestled with some feelings about it and went to bed, but had to get up at 1AM in order to write the following, a bit of advice to myself on how to keep going.  It felt important to offer it to other as well, as soon as possible.


 

Write it the way you used to write blog posts, with a burning need, and a bit speedy and bumpy, and not bothering too much with the niceties, since the niceties (propriety, “behaving”) are what have caused you so much trouble in the first place.

Write because you have something to say, not because you will obsequiously provide what you think people want to hear.

Write for the people who have been stricken with the conviction that they are weird, broken, unworthy, and alone.

Write for all the times you were unable to write, too despairing to move, too fearful of being misunderstood, too overwhelmed with constant change and major upheavals. You are still sitting with those feelings, of course. Understand that they are your allies, your messengers, part of your story.

Write for your own healing, even if you risk seeming unintelligible to others. You are your own primary audience. You are your own witness. Everyone else is just along for the ride. If you were trying to write only useful things for others, you could have chosen to write technical manuals or something. You chose otherwise, or perhaps were chosen.

Write because the act of writing breathes life into you. Write as an act of self-love. Write because you are a creature of language and relationship. It won’t always be the right words full of nuance and showing evidence of “craft.” The crafty writers can go hone their craft into the sharpest of pencils and possibly stab themselves and each other with them. Your task is only to let your voice exist and not silence it preemptively.

Write a path through the shame. You have written large, billowing clouds of words that will settle as dust, the necessary precursor to the words that will come galloping as wild horses, announcing your freedom.

Cameron, Wisconsin

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Responses

  1. That last line is everything.

  2. It only took me three days to actually get back here and read this. Not bad!!!

    We must have been on the same damn page, and not even known it, this weekend. That very same day, as we were attempting to write in different corners of the house, I was reminding myself that if I could just approach every scene as a blog post, all would be well with the world.

    You’n me both.

    Beautiful post. Beautiful words.

    Write on!
    K

    • Thank you, Bravissima K. There is something liberating and possible about writing bloggishly.


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