A to Z Challenge 2013

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What Is Writing To You?

KLo, you're going to have to forgive me for this one. I'm borrowing a thread you started, so that I can spin it out here, see how many kittens come by to play with the end.

The question that leaped into my mind while reading KLo's post was this. What is writing to me? There were many comments on her page, and I'll leave it up to you to read them. As for me, writing is a multi-faceted beast that I barely control. Rather than something internal, a hunger I feed or an addiction I beg release from, writing is an external friend. Its a buddy sitting next to me, poking a finger in my ribs when I'm asleep in math class. At certain moments, writing is a rollercoaster ride I'm enjoying, my arms held high and my fingertips aiming for white puffs of clouds. Unfortunately, sometimes that ride slams unexpectedly into a brick wall. Then writing becomes a battle through a raging snowstorm, my legs being sucked down into white powder thick as mud. Until the sun comes out, I struggle to make an inch of progress.

I could wax on metaphorically all day I guess, but the point is that for me, writing is an external thing. It doesn't feel like an internal process that others describe, an need or addiction that must be dealt with. Its not a salve either, a bandaid that makes my wounds heal. So maybe thats part of my problem, that I visualize writing as a bizarre creature I try to lasso. Sometimes I manage to get the rope around its head and ride the beast. Sometimes I get dragged through the sun-blasted landscape. Am I the weird one here? Maybe... just maybe.


Jeannie Campbell said...

i am the opposite. just posted about it today, actually. not that it makes you the weird one...but so far, the kittens on my blog have responded in kind with me. :)

Michelle H. said...

Huh, this post really has me thinking along with what Klo wrote. I'm going to have to take some time to think abou it.

So, writing is an endeavor you wish to understand and tame for your own ends?

Jamie said...

Writing is more of a compulsion for me...quite the opposite from you. I spent a good deal of time trying to escape from an internal "need" to write - trying to just walk away from the whole thing.

Ironically, I think the solution might be the same for both of us - rather than trying to escape or catch it, we need to simply let it be what it is, and embrace whatever that turns out to be. I've recently quit fighting it, and started to embrace my insane "need" to write as much as I can in a compromise of sorts, and have been quite pleased with the results so far.

Perhaps rather than trying to tame it, you should try letting it come to you on it's own terms?

adrcremer said...

My experience is similar to Jamie's. I have to wrench myself away from writing so that I don't utterly ostracize my family and friends. If I go through the day without writing I feel hollow inside. Writing is the space in which I feel complete, truly in touch with myself. It's the time where I am me - no performance or expectations for others. The page, the pen (keyboard), my mind and spirit.

Davin Malasarn said...

Eric, This is very interesting. Yes, most people do consider writing to be an interior process. Of course there's no right or wrong way to approach it. You've given me a lot to think about and try to understand because the question of why we make art, is something that I spend a lot of time thinking about. I do fall into that addiction camp. I have to make art, in whatever form.

Jody Hedlund said...

I love putting words on paper and creating a story. But it's also become more than that now. It's a choice I make every day to keep going. I don't base the daily grind on my feelings. So, in a deep sense I really enjoy it and it brings a great measure of satisfaction, but it's also something I do whether I feel like it or not because I'm committed to my career. Does that make sense?

Eric said...

All of this makes sense, and thanks everyone for putting your thoughts down. I've been accused of being a very cerebral thinker with regards to my own writing, and its probably truer than I'd like to admit. Much like the people that envy those of us who are able to write effectively, I envy all of you for whom writing is a need.

Sara Tribble said...

Writing for me is like an obsession lol! Ask my husband. Type, type, type he says. I love to create a world where someone can find peace and just focus on someone else's problems. Books always been an escape and let me imagine wild things so I hope to keep that going.

My characters need to back off now and again! lol! I dream about them, and think about them all the time. Sometimes I need to plug them out and working out helps! This is a great post and I follow Klo too I'll check hers out!

Don't worry we're all different whe we have our own thoughts of our writing. =)

KLo said...

First, I'm honored to have been linked : )

It's funny the way you describe writing as an external thing, a beast to be lassoed or a roller coaster. That's exactly how I feel, but it's like the beast is inside of me. I know that sounds odd, but I don't know how to put it any better than that. Maybe that the beast is hungry and can only be sated by writing. Who knows : )

I think one's approach to writing is directly tied to his or her outlook on various other things in life. I internalize everything and sort of come to terms with problems inside myself. I suspect (although you know what they say about assumptions, so I might be totally off-base here :)) that you are more likely to tackle adversity head-on.

Anyway, I'm really excited at the points you made and the great conversation on your blog.

You're fabulous : )