On Being a Writer – Surround

The idea is notto live forever,but to(1)

I have been a hoarder of ideas and words for as long as I can remember. I have a fear of forgetting things, so perhaps that is part of that. So I’ve taken copious notes in class (sometimes almost verbatim of what the teacher says) and I’ve tried to write down on slips of paper and in notebooks along the way, information that I thought may be useful one day or had spoken to me.

I’m not sure when it began, but I also began to write in my books (marginalia). It happened when there were books that ignited some reaction in me, something that I had to interact with (I believe that the first on that I really recall doing this was one of Noam Chomsky’s books). I have a great love for the discussion of politics, North American politics and foreign policy, so I had much to reflect on and react to in this book.

“Writing requires a flow both inward and outward of ideas, thoughts and stories. Each time I write an essay or an article, I gather together everything I know, think and experience about the topic, sorting and synthesizing, squeezing together bits of if inspiration and searching for just the right combination of words.” Charity Singleton Craig

I am a collector of things of beauty. A piece of fabric that catches my attention, a lotion that smells speaks of beauty to me, picture frames with my dear ones inside, letters from friends, collages that i’ve crafted and prints i’ve purchased that have spoken to me. In some ways they are inspiring to me, because they inhabit the space in which i now find myself. I live in my room at my parents house and my of ‘my’ things are in my room. There are prints on the walls, though not as many an I’d like. Some of the lovely fabric is hidden away for ‘later’ and many of my scented items are hidden away because my mom is allergic to many scents. So perhaps in some way this is stifling my creativity right now. I’m still creative, but don’t have these items readily available to glance at and be inspired by.

“Stephen Kings says, ‘Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.’ I believe it. I carry these words, these stories, these ideas and styles in me and they contribute to an ongoing, internal conversation that inspires and influences my writing life.” Ann Kroeker

The one thing that I can’t get enough of is reading. I have numerous blogs that I attempt to follow (mostly because I get lost in the beauty of the words and the vulnerability of their stories.) I have copious amounts of books on my Kindle (much to my chagrin i have indeed fallen prey to the e-book movement, but it is cheaper and i can have so many books on a little piece of technology.) Often if I enjoy a book immensely (ie. underline almost the entire thing) I will buy it in softcover form to further interact with it in writing.so much of what I’ve been reading lately has been written by individuals that I know personally or know of, and its been fascinating to read things that give a bit of background to what i’ve already read by them. I was also blessed to be part of a writing group last year, and was introduced to the writing of Natalie Goldburg (Writing down to the bones) and Marion Roach Smith (The Memoir Project), both of whom I’ve invested much time in perusing and interacting with on the page.

Two places that I’ve been constantly inspired and challenged to think and respond are the following resources:

Brainpickings  has all kinds of information on authors and books that you might not have heard of but are fascinating none the less. Its much like Wikipedia for me, you can get lost in all the amazing information, clicking from one article to the next. I love it.

also Claire De Boer who I discovered with her involvement with the online magazine SheLoves. Claire has a wonderful writing site , which has numerous articles that have inspired me to share my story and also how to work through some of the things keeping me from sharing.

on being a writer