Why write?

WritingOh my, it’s been such a long time since I last sat down with the intention of writing in this blog!

With some surprise, I realize I’ve missed it, the blank and mysterious page or screen, fraught with promise and pregnant with possibility, that beckons me from the outer reaches of my mind, gently singing its siren call to sit down and write awhile, to explore the things that are mulling around in my head.

It often seems to me that the reason I write is to find out what it is I’m thinking.

There’s something about the act of putting thoughts to screen or paper that provides a clarity that they might not – at least in my case! – ever achieve otherwise.

It seems to me too that the best writing happens when the focus is on following that flow until that formless inner urge feels satisfied.  Only then can I look at what has appeared on the page or screen with the eye of a potential reader and try to polish it so that it is the best expression I can create of what I’m trying to say.

the-writer2And sometimes the polishing, instead of reflecting more light, simply dulls it down so there’s nothing left of the magic I felt when it was streaming through my mind and out my fingers!   So clearly, there are times when  it’s important just to let the images and feelings flow as they will, willy-nilly, out into the world.

And sometimes I read what I’ve written and decide it’s only good for the trash barrel.

I wonder if writing ever becomes “easy”?

Namaste,
Susannah

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4 Comments

  1. I’ve been writing for years and for me it would appear that two scenarios tend to manifest when I write. First, when I sit down to write with no intention or even ideas and just write without thinking too much about it, inevitably all kinds of stuff pops up out of nowhere. It is like I keep my thinking mind out of it…kind of like meditation I guess. When I meditate I have no agenda. I sit just to come into the present, whatever that is. On the writing page, I am just present to whatever happens. When I get my head out of the way, it is like my fingers have a mind of their own. I often find that it is all that I can do to keep up. Secondly, when I go back later to something that I have written free flow, it is bloody hard work to work with it. I try to stay true to the essence of what has manifested in the original writing. You know, it is very hard, but I love it. When I write, whether it is scenario one or two, it feels like a little piece of heaven has manifested for me.

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    1. Yes, my experience of journal writing is much like yours. I don’t think twice about what’s going down on the page. What do the psychiatrists call it? Free association, I think. I did morning pages for years, and they were much like that.

      Blog posting, on the other hand, is a slightly different experience for me. Because I’m aware that someone, somewhere, may eventually read my post, I do find my mind working on two levels: there’s the level of feeling, inspiration, creativity – whatever you might call it – and there’s also the level of finding the best way to get my ideas across to another reader. These two levels often work virtually simultaneously, and I’ve come to love working like this, with the right brain flowing and the left brain gently guiding the flow. Then, of course, I have to do another, “formal” edit before I post the piece, to dot the i’s and cross those t’s. I enjoy that part, too. It suits the meticulous, picky side of me. 🙂

      I also now also use the computer almost exclusively for my private writings as well as the blog post, because my thoughts don’t have to wait so long for my fingers to catch up!

      Thanks for this conversation, Maureen. I’ve enjoyed it. Namo Amida Bu.

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  2. I don’t think writing is ever easy, hence the idea that it is a craft. However sometimes words flow out so fast that I can barely keep up. I journal as a brain dump and like you, it helps me determine or understand my thoughts. I write a blog as a way to share thoughts, ideas and stories with others. I write freelance for fun and money and I’m working on a book because I just feel like I have something to say. I can only hope it’s also something people will want to read! 🙂 Great post.

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    1. I’ve written, off and on, for many years, but only for myself – until a couple of years ago when I began this blog. I love to write, but the idea of putting my writing “out there” was a bit uncomfortable for me at first (introvert that I am). Happily, I’m finding my blog becoming a pleasant habit. And I love the contact with other people, some of whom are writers too. Thanks for the note.

      P.S. From what I’ve seen of your blog, your book will be a good read. I’d say “best of luck,” but it involves considerably more than luck, doesn’t it. I suspect hard work, sweat and patience are part of the picture too. So I’ll just say “all the best.”

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