Interlude

What are YOU waiting for?

Why even bother?

Literati

While I am finding reasons (with a little help from the map) to avoid posting the three names I sent to Jonathan Freedman for final judging, I thought I would feed the piranha with other  stuff that interests me.

Why even bother to write?  Multiple reasons, to be sure. According to Victor Villasenor, friend and best-selling author:

“Everyone should write, because the opposite of depression is expression.”

join us at the 5th Annual Writers and Creatives Reunion, Saturday, June 16, 4 pm till we run out of wine or things to say to each other. email thorn at thorn@awordwithyoupress.com for details

As an exercise for my writing workshops in Prague,I posted this:

“THIS IS IMPORTANT!
But only if you consider YOURSELF important.
At our final meetup–and no shitty excuses, I want you to write a paragraph-more if you would like–about why you write. I have heard all the lame answers (Because I must! or I have no choice!–of COURSE you have a choice).
If you will dig deep and truly explore your motives, I believe you will unleash a torrent of words impervious to writer’s block or prosecrastination.

Here is a great response I received from a young writer in our Prague writers’ group, Lidia Chikhareva, printed here with her consent:

 

“Why do I write? It’s an interesting question… I don’t know… kidding. I love writing. It’s my passion. It’s my happy place. It’s my everything.

Although I can’t imagine myself not writing, sometimes I stop doing it for a while. And when I do so my world is suddenly grey and I am miserable. It’s like I stop living as well.

It’s just I am not good at sharing my feelings, at expressing myself verbally, but give me a piece of paper and a pen and words start floating. And there is nothing in the world like being in that flow. Suddenly I feel powerful and that I can overcome any challenge that life throws at me. Writing for me is a stress relief, it’s like a pill which I take when I am sick. But it’s also a mean of communication, letting everyone in and letting them know about all the exciting and positive things that have been happening to me.

Someone’s recently mentioned that I am holding back in my writing, but it’s not because I don’t care about it, no, it’s because I am scared what if. What if I am not good enough? What if everyone hates my writing? I am not sure if am able to survive such a heartbreak. But I suppose there is more to it than a simple what if.

I hate this creative part of me. This part, this person, a writer, she is overly sensitive, has meltdowns, suffers from depressions and struggles with addictions. In a way she is a loner. But at the same time, she is caring and understanding. She believes in people and in this world. She is what is good in me and she is what makes me ME and I need her to be whole. And yet I guess I am still learning how to accept her, how to accept myself, how to embrace a write in me.

And they say that with great power comes great responsibility, so maybe I should be quite careful with my writing. A true writer can make a reader smile and cry, can make them think about the things that matter and can make them stronger. But I am not sure if I that is me. And in this case, isn’t writing just a waste of time?

Currently I am having difficulties calling myself a writer. I mean I realize that I shouldn’t give up, that I shouldn’t think what if, but instead I must fight for what is important. I should trust my gut and then one day I will proudly say that I am not only a writer, but a published author. I have to believe in that otherwise my life doesn’t make any sense. No more excuses! It’s about time I took that leap of faith, that is why I wow that from now and on I am not stopping writing not for a day.

So why do I write? Because I love writing. It’s my remedy. It’s my life. It’s my everything.”

***

So… how about you?   While you express yourself in the comments, I’ve got some laundry to do. (Wuss n’ Boots are the creation of Ruth Joyce, kindred spirit and my adoptive niece from Melton Mobray).

From Ruth Joyce in the UK–https://www.facebook.com/ruthjoyceart/photos/a.447892414741.241277.7906999741/10153820823739742/?type=3&comment_id=10153820865049742&notif_t=like

 

14 comments

  1. Avatar
    Sarah Crysl Akhtar says:

    I write because I’m a big believer in putting up, or shutting up. I’d gotten to the point where I’d found myself, far too often than not, reading fretfully instead of with pleasure, because I was unable not to find fault with authors’ choices of words.

    I’d gotten to the point where I knew something was good if auto-quibble was silent as I read.

    “You think you know better?” I thought. “So prove it.”

    So I did my best to do so.

    • Avatar
      Sarah Crysl Akhtar says:

      What’s the hardest thing for any serious writer to learn? To trust one’s instincts rather than listen to one’s desires. To know when something is crappy even if nice people praise it–one’s own work or that of others’. To know when to listen to someone else’s advice, and when to decline to. To know when you’re expressing your own or a character’s authentic voice–and when you’re just trying to force a plot direction. To know when you’ve found all the right words, or when the subtle difference between two words that express the same general idea is all the difference in the world.

      • Avatar
        Sarah Crysl Akhtar says:

        To know that “show ‘n tell” isn’t the same thing as bringing your best effort. To know that the people who love you best might not be your best critical advisors.

        To know that intelligence and giftedness aren’t the same.

        To know that sometimes those who can’t, really can teach those who can. But sometimes, too, they can’t.

        • Avatar
          Sarah Crysl Akhtar says:

          To know why your high school teacher was right to drum all those rules into your head–and when you can go right ahead and trash ’em.

          To know when gorgeous, lyrical, heartstopping prose isn’t advancing your story any and is an indulgence you’d be better off throttling, even if your MFA instructor is swooning over it.

          To know that the best response to a bad review is coming back with a better story.

      • Avatar

        Sarah: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Thorn Sully (or maybe it was Mark Twain?)

  2. Avatar
    Laura says:

    1. I write because I have a crush on words. Words make me fall in love (with people who send them to me, and with words themselves). It is a passionate, playful affair.
    2. Words are my paintbox, the way I process beauty. Writing can turn any experience, however hard, into art. We grow emotionally by writing and reading, and often learn to forgive. Writing is redemptive.
    3. Sharing stories feels like a risk, but ends up connecting us, whether we are authors or readers. At their best, communities like this help us share our humanity, touch, heal and challenge each other…and laugh together.

  3. Avatar
    Jon Tobias says:

    I love to write poetry. I write because I like the idea of presenting something, anything, in a new way. It’s important to me to be able to offer a different perspective. I like to challenge myself to find ways of describing things so that they can be more than what we normally assume they are. Can I make a gun beautiful? Can I find a way to make the Home Alone movie be about keeping a relationship alive?

    • Avatar
      Jon Tobias says:

      I think if I challenge myself this way, and people who read my work can accept the ideas or images I have presented then I might be able to bring a change into the world. That change for me would be in communication. The more ways we can communicate our feelings or have ways of describing the world around us then I hope the more we can be understood or understand. Language itself is so important. It’s always changing. I want to be part of that change.

  4. Avatar
    David Jenkins says:

    I write poetry because it makes me feel good. Saraswati sits on my shoulder whispering poems in my ear. If she isn’t there, a poem isn’t. She dictates the poem, I write it down. Lucky me. I make up some memoirs and other stories too. It all makes me feel really, really good.

  5. Avatar
    David Jenkins says:

    My favorite poem: Birthin’ is hard and dyin’ is mean. So, get yourself a little lovin’ in between.
    I think it was Nikki Giovanni’s

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