Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Write On Wednesday-Rewards

About 25 years ago, when I was a young mother at home with a toddler, I felt the urge to sharpen my pencils and start writing -essays about parenthood, articles about childcare, stories and poems for children, writing that emerged from the core of my life at that time. Inevitably, I found myself entertaining the idea of publishing, and I started devouring magazines like Writer's Digest, and studying Writer's Market. I stocked up on manila enevelopes and stamps, bought good quality typing paper (this was back in the olden days before computers, remember?) and created little charts to track the progress of my submissions. I actually published quite a few little pieces, here and there, and I proudly filed my complimentary copies in a special file box, where they're growing yellowed and moldy somewhere in the bowels of my basement.

I don't remember why I stopped, but stop I did. Perhaps I became exhausted with the whole merry-go-round of trying to tailor your pieces to fit the market. My son grew older and was no longer interested in being the guinea pig audience for my efforts. Parenthood and childcare became less the center of my life, and I began branching out into other creative efforts that didn't lend themselves to writing.

Last year the urge to write came back to me, a small, insistent voice whispering in my ear, nudging me toward the page, putting words into my head that were begging to be used somewhere, words like redolent, serendiptious, undulating, mesmerizing. The world started to appear differently, as if someone had drawn bold accenting lines around it, calling attention to even the most homely of objects and events. There were things I felt the need to say about my perception of life and my place in the world.

So I started writing here, and in morning pages, and it's been an amazing process of discovery. "Writing, the creative effort, the use of the imagination, should come first - at least for some part of every day of your life," writes Brenda Ueland in
If You Want to Write. "It is a wonderful blessing if you will use it. You will become happier, more enlightened, alive, impassioned, light-hearted and generous to everybody else." I have reaped all these benefits, and more, as I've become highly attuned to the ever changing beauty of nature, finely observant of the precious uniqueness of the people I know and those I simply observe, surprised and delighted at my own inner life and the ability to expand my creative horizons at this stage in my journey.

But this time, I've felt no impulse toward "publishing," at least not in the conventional sense. Maybe this little corner of cyberspace is enough, a place to lay my small offerings about life in general for the gentle perusal of anyone who cares to accept them. The reward is in the process, in searching my heart for feelings I need to share, in probing my mind for the oh-so-perfect way to express them, in offering this truth within me as a gift to myself and to you.

So, how about you? How does writing reward you?

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6 Comments:

Blogger paris parfait said...

Lovely post, Becca. I don't how to explain it, other than to say since I was about five years old, I've never seriously entertained the thought of doing anything else. Without writing - and reading - I don't think I could survive.

2/21/2007  
Blogger Tammy said...

I'm glad you have rediscovered your writing ;) I never wrote for pleasure until I found blogging and people like you to encourage me. It's saved my housebound sanity ;) XXOO

2/21/2007  
Blogger Star said...

I actually left the building for my lunch break today. It is 56 degrees, the water is running from the melting of the snow and every living creature seems to me sucking up this promise of spring before the next round of snow comes (probably this Sunday).

As I sat writing in my journal in the park, I mused in black and white about how wonderful it would be to be paid for what I was doing at that very moment. As you said, not to have to tailor to a target audience, to open all my senses to what surrounds me and then try to describe it in detail and as a whole.

Of course I noticed then that I only had two minutes to make it back to work (not happening!), shut the cover on my journal and returned to my cube. But as I look out the window, my mind remembers what the senses took in and I can surround myself with it all over again.

Sometimes it's enough to write the words for yourself...

2/21/2007  
Blogger deirdre said...

Writing consistently feeds my soul, but there doesn't seem to be any call to publishing for me. It may happen someday, but until then this little blogging world and my writer's group seem to be enough.

2/21/2007  
Blogger Ally Bean said...

Writing provides me with clarity. I start with all sorts of facts, vague ideas and mixed-up feelings. Then I work them around the page-- sometimes for minutes, other times for weeks-- until they coalesce into something coherent and useful. I'm very practical at heart so this sort of clarity is invaluable to me as I deal with my day and as I connect with the divine.

2/22/2007  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Writing rewards me with a rush of joy, discovery, satisfaction! I hope to write on this and post it, great meme idea. I learn so much from writing and have fun. I like to rearrange reality to suit me, and then when I see what I'm doing, I learn from that about myself and others. When I see I am making someone all bad, I look for the good. When I make myself all good, I look for the weaknesses I'm hiding. LOL!

2/23/2007  

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