On Being a Writer – Write (DONE)
Interestingly, I found this chapter not only applied to writing but to life. At least my life.
I often find myself waiting around for life to get to a certain undetermined or perhaps somehow predetermined space where I can at last be free to do whatever it is that I’ve reserved for this specific time. I guess there are a series of things that I’ve set up in my mind as having to fall into place in order to actually do the next step or even take the first step.
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.” – E.B. White
Blogging and writing has often been an on again/off again pursuit for me. When I was in high school I would often journal my angsty thoughts into a journal. I wrote copious amounts of poetry at that time, trying to work through the emotions that were raging through me. I am external processor, which means that I often need to talk things out, or write things out in order to make sense of the jumble I find inside my mind. If I get overwhelmed in a situation or something happens that I can’t quite make sense of, I need to speak about it with someone and dialogue in order to get to a place where I can start to pinpoint my thoughts and bring them into order. There were times in University where I’d have to call my mom to help me be able to prioritize what needed to be done in a certain course because it was all too overwhelming for me to process.
We have something to say that can only come from us. Where is the story, the perspective, and the hope that only I can express? – On Being a Writer
I haven’t written much as of late. I have felt like my writing voice has been stopped up. And strangely its not because of a comment I’ve receive or not having anything to write about (that is certainly not the case) but rather because I am afraid. There are many things that feed into this fear. Perhaps I compare myself to others and think I don’t have a lot to say. Or question who will read what I have to say, so why should I bother to actually put it down on paper. I also sometimes seem to have a processing difficulty so I am unable to actually get out on the page what is jumbled up in my mind. So what I’m really meaning and wanting to say, doesn’t quite reach the state of expression I’m hoping for.
Perfection can draw us to the work, make us want to write well, gives us a goal and a dream. Perfectionism keeps us from the work, convinces us we’ll never be good enough, squashes our ambitions and often stops us from putting that first word on the paper. – On Being a Writer
As I ponder this, I’ve never been one for editing. As I wrote papers in University and College I would just write and edit as I went. I never learned how to properly outline (or perhaps never made use of the resource) and thus when I had to submit an outline, never really knew what to do with it. I didn’t know what I’d write on until the night before (oops!). So perhaps this is reflected in my hesitancy to write or share. Perhaps if I took the time to just let my writing sit, to let it marinate, then it might be something that fully expresses what I have to say…and as I go through and read it over again, I might add to it and further flesh it out. All of this to say, the first step in all of this is to actually sit down and write.
I think that the reflection that ‘Writing is hard’ in this chapter is something that I need to print out and post above wherever I decide to start writing (along with so many other things from this book). Because really that is the reality and a challenge when it comes to stepping into a writing life. It is hard for everyone. Many people are gifted, and while it might not take much for them to get things down on the page, it might be difficult for them to share what God’s laid on their hearts. And for others (like myself) its difficult to get the words down because I’m not quite sure how to say what is rolling around in my mind. But I need to just start. To push through the hard and the ‘I don’t feel like it today’ and at least scribble some thoughts down.
The world is full of so many things that I ponder daily, and while I don’t necessarily need to share all of that with the world, since I know I process externally it would be good to at least get my thoughts down in a private post. One of the most freeing comments I ever received was ‘You don’t have to share everything with everyone if you don’t want to. You can write a private post just for yourself, as you work through whatever is eating at you.’ And it was so freeing to think that I could write numerous posts and not share them ever. Or perhaps work on them until I am led to let them see the light of day.
“You owe it to all of us to get on with what you are good at” – W.H. Auden