Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What writing means to me

I know there are people out there who have published projects and then for one reason or another, stepped out of the writing business--Poppy Z. Brite stands as a good example. For writers like Poppy, writing came to mean something dark, something that made it slinging words lose its zest. And I can understand completely because sometimes for me writing means:
  • Feeling terrified that I will never be good enough, that my ability to write will always remain on a level that fails my dreams;
  • Drinking so much coffee my stomach cramps, because when I'm high on caffeine, the words come so sweet and fast;
  • Missing television like a lost friend;
  • Having more in common with people I know from Twitter than friends I've known half my life;
  • Feeling guilty that I don't devote more time to writing and reading;
  • Resenting my friends and family for taking me away from writing and reading;
  • Missing out on time with my Sweetie-Pie;
  • Giving up the dulcimer and martial arts and yoga and neglecting my plants.
But then, there are other things about writing that makes it impossible to even imagine taking a break from it. Because writing also means:
  • Never needing to be bored when I'm alone;
  • Feeling that surge of excitement when I solve a plot problem;
  • Losing myself so deeply in a story that I feel as if I have abandoned my body and am sweeping through a world beyond this one;
  • Getting excited about a new way to use a word;
  • Being part of a small, very focused group of people who are exciting and fun and stimulating in a way no one else has ever been;
  • Giving myself a challenge every single day;
  • Looking into the folds of my mind to find the meaning that binds my self and thoughts together;
  • Elevating the mundane into art;
  • Doing the one thing that I know I have created myself to do.
When I look at the two lists, I see sacrifice weighed against bliss; time weighed against meaning; ordinary weighed against divine. For now, I can give myself up to it. I will be strong enough to go to the words and spin them out of my self until I have no more to spin. May the winding be long and the words many.

4 comments:

JohnR said...

This is why "tribe" fits so well--I feel like you just articulated so much of my own feelings about writing and the society around it. Thanks for this, and I hope you have more from the bottom list than the top one.Thank you for sharing this. May your words flow.

Wendy said...

Thanks, John!

JohnR said...

The guilt, resentment, never-bored, and excitement of creation are the ones I can relate to the most.

Kristina said...

When I'm high on caffeine, nothing that awesome happens. We can't be related.