Sunday, January 29, 2012

If You Want to Write


And I do.  I have a space now.  A little mental space and a physical space.  A room of my own.

But I've been holding back, tip-toeing around, wondering where to begin and how to determine what exactly I should focus on.  Then I came across this book.  I admit, at first I felt like it was a bit silly to read a book on writing.  I mean, I should just write - not read about writing.  But I found this on my shelf.  I think it came from my Mom.  She works at a lovely little library where she has the privilege of going through boxes of donated books.  The library can't take all those old treasures, so my Mom gets to bring some home.  Her bookshelves are overflowing.  So are mine.

If You Want to Write by Branda Ueland is a delightfully 'old-school' book on writing and art.  I'm loving it.  It has made me laugh out loud more than once.  There is so much encouragement in here to write with honesty and spirit - the way you are inspired to write rather than the way you think you ought to write.  She says of writing, "it's like a faucet: nothing comes unless you turn it on, and the more you turn it on, the more comes."  And she advocates for idleness and solitude, giving ideas time to take shape instead of willing them out onto the page.  "For when you write, if it is to be any good at all, you must feel free, - free and not anxious. . . Yes, it has made me like working to see that writing is not a performance but a generosity."

All this has got me thinking about my writing and when I enjoy it the most.  I think I am my most honest, real self when I write with a pen on paper.  And perhaps blogging (and editing and over thinking) has been getting in the way of my freer writing voice.  So I've decided to take a break from digital writing for a couple of months.  My hope is that I can return with a more generous spirit in the spring!

I'm going to keep posting pictures here most days and just a line or two of text (inspired by habit).  I'm hoping that this will motivate me to keep taking (and sharing) photos but give me space to work on my writing.

I'm signing off for a couple months of quiet winter hibernation, friends.  Keep warm!

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