Writing is a solitary pursuit--the imagination guiding the hand moving the pen. I'm pretty old-school, valuing the work of good editors and the revisions process before letting my words go public. But life is short, right? And sometimes, just sometimes, we need to spout off.

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A writer, mother, teacher, friend, I love books, blizzards and beaches, music from Hildegard von Bingen to the Beatles to Bonnie Raitt to The Brood; I love medieval churches, red wine, creme caramel, and roasted beets, and walking the woods and coastlines of home. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Sounds disgusting. Compulsive writing. Writing for the (frantic) sake of moving the pen--an ironic form of writer's block, according to Victoria Nelson's insightful book, On Writer's Block: A New Approach to Creativity.
For a year I avoided (ha!) opening this book, discovered quite fortuitously at Frenchy's. It's quite a wonderful uncovering and sympathetic analysis of the whys and wherefores of the hurdles and hoops we jump over & through.
Nelson quotes Malcolm Lowry's biographer, Douglas Day, as saying the urge to write copiously, compulsively, is in recognition of "the lethal attraction of silence" and done "in order not to die."
A bit extreme, Nelson says, and I might agree.
But she's also right, I think, in suggesting that compulsive writing "constitutes a defense...an armor against unknown terrors, rather than the constant unfolding expression of inner truth."
Maybe the inner truth is too big, too scary, to attempt to put into words?
Anyway. Food for thought, to be digested and passed accordingly.
I still say write, write, write and write some more, "if only" for the act of doing it. Otherwise, how will the good stuff in there ever come out?
A colleague who is a visual artist says, Even if nothing's happening in my art, it's important to show up at the studio regularly just in case something does.
Write on.

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