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Monday, March 26, 2012

Writing The Journey

Start where you are.
This is good advice, practical, logical ... and difficult.
When I think about where I want to be as a writer, I know it is far from where I am now.  I want to be a poet, published and well-known.  I want to be a writer, published and respected.  These destinations seem as far as another world, a planet on the farthest side of a galaxy light-years away.
I worry.  What if I never get to my destination?  What if my writing is mediocre?  What if I never reach book publication?  Perhaps this is procrastination.  If I don’t try, I won’t fail.  I have excuses.  But still I write.  I write knowing that all I can do is start where I am and work.
It is practical.  Writing practise will improve my skills.  It is logical.  Writing from where I am and who I am and what I know is the only beginning possible.  It is difficult; but it is possible.  Surely it is possible.
Daily, I show up at my blank page and write.  Some days are flowing and fruitful.  Some days are flowing and flawed.  Some writing, upon second reading, objective reading, turns out to be crap, perhaps compost or fuel for another day.  Some days soar.  That’s the way it goes.
Reaching the planet of published poetry and prose is far off, but still I travel, dancing the light-years, pencil in hand.
Is it simply about the journey?  Perhaps.  And perhaps that alone is enough to justify the work.


Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Hi Carol!

Woody Allen once said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up."

Facing a blank page is daunting; it's why procrastination can "win" ~ i.e. After I've done (fill in blank), THEN I'll write (and in the meantime, hope that inspiration, ideas, etc. will come along, and make it that much easier to sit down and write).

So ~ you are brave enough to show up to write. Don't worry about how "good" your writing will be. Just write! Let the words flow....you can always edit later (another fav saying: "You can't edit a blank page."). Give yourself permission ~ as Anne LaMott says, to write "Shitty First Drafts." Read all about it here: http://buddha-rat.squarespace.com/shitty-first-drafts/

Don't worry about "what-ifs." Go for it!

Writing, as in life, IS about the journey. You already know this ~ you're that much ahead of so many others, Carol!

I'm glad you left a comment today at Women of Mystery ~ and let me know how the "1K1HR" thing goes. I'm going to try it, too!

You might find "Naming the World:And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer" helpful, if you need a nudge when it comes to writing prompts. Here's a link to the book (& check out the reviews on the book, you'll see how well received it is):

jerilanders said...

I consider myself an illustrator first, and a writer second. When I first began my journey into storybooks, it was always the artwork that I put most of my effort into. It takes me about 2 years to finish my illustrations, and during that time, I'm also rewriting, editing and rethinking the story.It is just as you say, sometimes, the words just seem to flow,like a gift from heaven. At other times, it is the blank page syndrome. There are moments when you can't wait to sit down and paint or write, and other times when it is just PAINFUL!
PS You are very lucky to have those stone walls, even if they have fallen a bit. A friend of mine looked at a property nearby with a 200 year old wall which ran about 1500 feet. The realtor told her " Oh, by the way, there is a house that comes with that wall". She bought the wall...and house that came with it.

Crafty Green Poet said...

It's definitely about the journey! Remember too that your writing may be brilliant but just not find enough of an audience for external reasons such as fashion or whatever. I read a really useful article on a similar theme this morning, if I find it again I'll send you the link....

Carol Steel said...

Hi Kathleen,

Thanks for this comment and for the encouragements. I appreciated the link on "shitty first drafts" and the book suggestion. I am working on the journey.

Carol Steel said...

Hi Jeri,

Thanks for the comment. Misery does like company so it is good to know of the struggles of others. I recognize that anything worthwhile takes time and lots of effort and re-doing.

I appreciated your blog about stone walls too. It encourages me to get outside and do the repairs on ours.

Carol Steel said...


Thank you for your wisdom shared. You always help my perspective on my writing.