15 October 2014

Writing is a whole-person activity

When I read that Hemingway quote about bleeding on the page, this is what comes to mind:

What I think I know is that writing - or at least creative writing, the kind of writing I want to do - is a whole-person activity. What I think I know is that if I'm stuck in life, I'll be stuck in my writing. That if I'm not being honest with myself, if I'm not willing to face the hard questions and risk the answers I don't want, if I distract myself from my feelings and experiences instead of processing them, if I disconnect from myself out of fear or to avoid discomfort, I won't be able to connect with my creativity and hence won't be able to write stories that connect in a meaningful way with other people.

I imagine I'll have more to say about these things later, that in fact every post I write is some version of this, but for now this is all.

ROW80 Update 

"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."
Show up to writing 2-3 hours/day. Mostly on track. I've made progress on a short story, worked a bit on WIP2 (finally!) and have started a new project...possibly several new projects. Basically, I decided that I'm going to learn about a bunch of stuff that I'm interested in and write about what I'm learning to help me process and see if anything marketable results from it. So yesterday I started the process of researching intentional communities and sustainable living. 

Be an active ROW80 sponsor. On track. I checked in on my assigned group Thursday & yesterday. Will do so again tomorrow. Have already started writing the inspirational post for the ROW80 blog, which is due on Friday, so I just need to flesh it out a bit, type it up and send it to Kait. Adding that to Friday's to-do list now. 

Read for fun. On track. Since last week's check-in, I finished reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and The Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne M. Valente. Enjoyed both, but Valente's stories resonated with me more, and something she said in the afterword really struck me. She said (something like) each story she writes circles around the truth of her experience of Japan and the changes it wrought on her, each story is another attempt to clearly articulate it, to get closer to it. This brought me a tremendous sense of relief, this realization that a story doesn't have to clearly articulate the whole truth to be worthwhile. Now I've started reading Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb, a fantasy novel (first in a series) recommended to me by a recent Twitter acquaintance. 

Continue posting twice a week on this blog. Posted once. 

This is a blog hop! Click here to read other ROW80 participants' mid-week check-ins. 


  1. Great job on your goals! I like how you've made just a time limit to "show up," and not necessarily a word count. With one, the other follows, but your way seems to be less pressure? Might try it. :)

    1. I'm inconsistent in my approach to my writing because sometimes it *does* work to set word count goals, but at this particular time, it's just as you said: I need a relief from the pressure. And the most amazing thing is happening - I'm making progress! Maybe not as quickly as I'd like, but progress nonetheless. Woot!

  2. Sounds like you have some interesting projects on the go. You've achieved a lot in just a short time.
    Your opening words really resonated with me. Being true to one's self is so important.

    1. Thanks so much, Bev! For me, the act of writing is a conscious effort to be true to myself...and even just to continue discovering who I am! I agree with you that it's super important. Otherwise I don't feel like I'm truly alive. Just surviving.