I’m curious…Why do you write?

Why do you write

Have you always known what you wanted to do? I bet you have. I bet when you look back, you will find that there were things that you were naturally drawn to, naturally did well and when you did them time would stand still. That, my friend, is your innate talent.

I have this (completely unscientific) theory. I believe that the universe is a massive ecosystem. In order for that ecosystem to survive different organisms need different skills to get things done that are necessary for survival of the universe. Bare with me on this.

If you look at Earth, we have, for example, bees that are vital to the survival of our planet. In the big picture, they cross pollinate and ensure that things continue to grow, which ensures we have food to eat and oxygen to breathe. On a micro scale, within the bee population, there are bees that have different roles (the Queen bee, the worker bee, the bees that look after the nursery, etc.) that are necessary for their survival.

I believe that humans are the same. The big picture is that we are here to take care of Earth. On a macro level, in order to achieve that, we are all genetically assigned a talent – some gift that we are meant to use in order to maintain the balance of our own species. This is why, I believe, some people are born naturally good at maths, science, art, cooking, cleaning, whatever it is. And this is why until we are fully immersed in that gift, our lives feel empty and meaningless and we are always searching, never feeling totally fulfilled.

Education, in its current form, unfortunately is a great barrier to us fulfilling our contract to the universe by using the talents we were born with.  Instead it has the habit of encouraging us to subvert our talents, mostly, but that is for another post perhaps.

For the longest time I denied that writing was my innate talent. When I was 6, my parents were told that I had the writing ability of an 11 year old. Writing came naturally to me. I was quite reserved and often could not find the words to say when speaking, but finding them came very easily when I wrote. It was because of this ease that I discounted writing as my vocation. How could something that came so easily to me, be valued? I was taught that in order to get anywhere in life, you had to work at it. And because writing came so easily, it wasn’t work, and therefore it wasn’t a vocation.

It has taken years of job hopping, countless career choices, and a resulting major depression to realise, finally, I was wrong. Of course, now I bitterly regret not studying writing or journalism, and honing my craft (which is where the work bit comes in). But luckily for me it is never too late. There are a plethora of successful writers out there who all started their writing careers late in life. So I figured if they can do it, so can I.

I have only just started owning my writing. I have only started trusting the universe to help me and guide me to find the words that need to be said. And the universe answered. The lovely Rachel over at The Chronic Ills of Rachel {do yourself a favour, go and read her blog it is amazing} contacted me to ask if I would like to partake in a blog hop on why I write. How lovely is that? And then, I get to spread the love around by nominating a further three bloggers on their writing process. Oh yeah baby! Universe, take note, I am listening!

What am I working on?
Currently, I am working on writing my story. Just my story. That is it. In order to be a writer, you have to write. Writing my own story is a really good way to give myself permission to be and call myself a writer. There can be no judgement since it is my own story and no-one else has lived it. I am working on my craft through my own story. I work on how to tell my story in interesting ways.

I do have other stories in my head, always, but I know that I can’t possibly examine those until I have my own story written down. It is important to do that. I want to empower people, through my own writing, to realise how beautiful they are and that their story is the most important one to tell. I can’t do that until I have done my own.

I am doing this in a formal way (a book) but also through my blog. What you read here will mostly be my story and how I am living my life.

Why do I write what I do?
I write because I HAVE to write. I know no other way of communicating what I NEED to say. Writing for me is like housing an internal volcano. It bubbles away below the surface, gaining pressure, cooking if you will, until eventually it has to come out. If I can’t write it down I get very sick, mentally. I am always writing, either in my head, on paper or on a keyboard. My life is constantly spent thinking in story lines. Literally, every minute of every day I am thinking “How can this be used in a story.” It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of when I go to sleep.

I blog because it gives me a safe avenue to put my writing out there. It is a training ground for writers, and sometimes that becomes a permanent home.

How does my writing process work?
I have a number of different ways of processing my thoughts to the point that they appear on paper. Whatever happens, if I don’t feel a deep connection to it, I can’t write about it. I am not that writer who can write about anything. I struggle with those list posts, or what I did on the weekend posts. The right words never come to me for that. And I am okay with that. There are plenty of bloggers out there who are really good at it and blaze the trail. They don’t need me flapping my hands and stumbling all over the place at the back of the race.

For me, whatever I write about has to have meaning and purpose. I have to connect to it, literally, on a soul level. It sounds a bit woo-woo, I know, but for me that is how it bubbles on out of me.

My process can sometimes be quick. Something happens and before I know it I am clacking away at the keyboard. And then there are days when I have to let it stew a bit before I articulate what I want to say. But there are days when I want to write, desperately, but nothing comes forth. Those are dark times for me. It is like being starved of oxygen. I am learning to know myself though, to accept that I need to feel connected in order to write, and that sometimes the process of living doesn’t always generate a write-worthy connection.

On a day to day level.  I write, then I read it, then I edit.  A lot.  Each one of my blog posts probably has around 7 revisions before I finally publish it.

How does it differ from others in your genre?
I found this a strange question to ask. It is my belief that each of us brings our own uniqueness to our writing by the simple virtue that we are all unique individuals and no-one else has lived our life. We all draw upon our own experiences to bring different seasonings to our stories. Mine is different because it is my own experience that I write about. My short stories and poetry, despite being fictional, are always drawn from my own life and living.

If I had to choose something, though, perhaps that I write with extreme honesty, that I work at facing my vulnerability and fear and write it anyway, that I am proud of the “what you see is what you get” scenario – no pseudonyms, just me. In all my flawed, crazy glory.

Bloghop Buddies:
Writing is a solitary pursuit, and it can be lonely. How amazing is it, then, that we get to live in an age where it no longer has to be that lonely? Bloggers are everywhere, and if you are really lucky, you get to meet some amazing ones along the way that become your friends. Here are three that are going to continue the “Why do you write” blog baton:

Michelle Kendergran - Profile for blogMichelle is a writer, artist and blogger. She is the creator of That Summer Feeling, a blog that celebrates life in a way that is synonymous with long, lazy days in the sun with a side order of pineapples, flamingos and cocktails in coconut shells. By day she is paid to work in a city office but on weekends she can be found at one of her favourite beaches on the Queensland or Northern New South Wales coast, camera in hand, ready to chronicle her latest finds. Sometimes that will be a meal, sometimes a cool shop, kitsch homewares, or street art. Often it’s spectacular scenery.  Michelle likes to think of herself as a virtual tour guide, taking you on a journey to the places and experiences she loves. Her tagline is Sun, sea, sand and stories and that’s exactly what you’ll find on her blog.

Cate Brickell - profile for blogCate, of Life Behind the Purple Door fame, is the 40-something, mum-of-5, painter of the purple door who procrastinates on pinterest, shares too much on Instagram, and sometimes manages to write a blog post. If you can’t find her online, you’ll find her on the couch, trying to convince the not-so-newbie to go to sleep.

 

Shani Rare Pear StudioI am Shani.  I am the face behind Rare Pear Studio.  I completed a BA Visual Arts about a zillion years ago…and now find myself living in rural Central West NSW, a mother, a wife, a creative, a teacher.  I paint, I photograph, I make (lots of mess), I write, I am ADHD creative…However, I am currently having a wonderful time focussing my energies into Rare Pear Studio producing artworks, prints and cards.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “I’m curious…Why do you write?

  1. Reading this has really made me think about my story. I’m not sure I can describe it as eloquently as you, but I’m sure going to try.

    Like

  2. Well two very thought provoking posts in two days Sarah! I have dabbled here and there but really the things I want to write are only in my head. There I said it. So I am trying to unravel all my procrastinations and reasons for not writing and fears about writing to try and begin. Thank you for challenging me to do it!

    Like

    • Hi Sally. Thanks for stopping by. If you just try to take one scene or part, or paragraph, and just write that, then bit by bit the story will unfold. Your voice is unique and what you have to say (either through a story or not) will resonate with someone somewhere. You can do this xx

      Like

  3. I LOVED reading this Sarah! Wish we could go off on a writing retreat and write out stories. I’d like to write one (actually, many!), too. As I was reading your “un-scientific” theory I thought ‘that makes perfect sense’. It’s intuitive and a great way of looking at our innate gifts. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad that I wasn’t born a gifted cleaner, however. That would have made those around me so much happier! 😀 I’m so thrilled to be here right at the start of your new blog. It’s already such an awesome place to be!

    Like

    • Hi Rachel. I wish we could go off on a writing retreat too – maybe we should organise one?? I’m glad you are a part of my writing journey Rachel. I used to beat myself about the cleaning thing. Now I pay someone to do it and I’m much happier as well as contributing to the economy in my own small way (at least that is what I tell myself :-)).

      Like

  4. Oh I really loved this Sarah – I think you’ve said it before, but we have so many similarities in our writing journeys. There is just so many points in this post that resonate deeply with me. As Rachel said, it’s quite a thrill to be along for the ride with you here – I think there are some big things in store.

    And put my name down for that writing retreat. I’m there.

    x

    Like

    • Hi there Kate,

      Thank you very much for your kind words. I am really glad you are enjoying it and I can tell you that I am already thinking of that writing retreat. xx

      Like

Let me know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s