Writing mimics the cycles of life: birth, individuation, collectivity and death.
Sometimes, writing seems like a senseless waste of time. As I sit perched at my desk looking out the window, I see people walking along the sunny beach, some paddling their kayaks in the bay while others are fishing. Meanwhile the only workout I’m having is with my wrists and fingers, and an occasional stroll along the shore at the end of the day. I am bound by writing, much like the snarky message that cannot be retrieved once the send button is tapped. The words and inspiration are forever gone so I move on.
As a writer I have experienced defeat by the red pen.
Editors may seem like mean teachers when they tell you that although you may have a great idea, your writing skills need honing. One editor sent a list of rules, plus words of encouragement neatly wrapped in comment boxes at the edge of the page. Also included was a note stating that my book is good, so I am expected to write every word by myself. Not everyone is as encouraging as editors. For instance, my family disowned me over the blatant embellishment of my dad in my memoir. Both are perfect. As every writer knows, the juice for the written word pours like rain from an invisible sky.
Like writers, the written word itself is born of the unknown. Every day I get up, make a cup of coffee, crawl back into bed and stare at my spiral ring notebook. Some day, titles scribble themselves in medium thickness atop the page. They emerge from the universal thought stream at the most in opportune times. Today I am packing and cleaning as I prepare to move from one writing retreat to another. My scribbled words remain legible for an hour and then vanish unless they immediately dispatched to the word processor.
This is especially true for blogs, which appear randomly. I envy those who can summon up engaging pieces of writing on a regular basis. I reserve this type of work for when I’m writing my book. This week I discovered that if I spend more than an hour or two a day on the rewrite, the following day is usually void of any inspiration. My writing has become an extension of myself. Like a two year old who understands the meaning of “No,” I occasionally sneak back to the edited blog and add metaphors originally slashed by the red pen.
I am learning to write for the benefit of other people. When I began journaling at age 11, I never allowed others to read my writing. Perhaps this was when the illegible pen had its genesis. Over time my sloppiness became a habit. Now I suspect it is patterned creativity. Either way, becoming a blogger meant learning to make sure every paragraph had a beginning, middle and end, mimicking the cycles of life. Cycles are everywhere and the act of writing mirrors life perfectly. Blogging is perhaps a good example of something with a short life span. You write, finish and publish. People read and the thought withers. My book has a longer shelf life and the creation process is more like the birth of an elephant: painstaking and long. This summer I expected to whip through the rewrite and get on to the final piece, but once again I encountered the world of discovery. As I collected more info and my vision became clearer, I recognized irrelevant paragraphs and they were summarily disposed to my “extras” pile. The rules are constantly evolving.
The issue of why the writer writes has always piqued my curiosity. When I began my book, I viewed it as a manual that would help my clients as well as build my credibility. As the process unfolded, I realized that I was writing for me. It is exciting to discover what lies hidden beneath the ages, but I am no longer focused on the book tour as the prize. This was the death of the illusion. Yesterday someone said, “Lots of great books never get read.” A year ago that would have thrown the last shovel of dirt onto my coffin. Today I smile.
Renee is currently finishing the book, “When the Wind Blows; navigating your emotional windstorms” Please follow her on FB or here for her Practical Tools for Inspired Living. She will be presenting her Awakening Compass at the Bhakti Fest on September 7 & 8th. Save $50 on your registration with 2013Renee. Need a creative push; schedule a one on one coaching session.