About writing

Do you know what it is like to burn to write?

BurnYes. I chose a rather graphic image to represent something very close to my heart. Sometimes it truly is that way for me. Synge and burn in a moment of rapture when words swirl around me, eluding my grasp. They ricochet off the page with such fervor that I’m always left with a feeling of utter delusion. Will I be able to get them in time before they fade? Will that moment pass, and will they go scurrying off to a dusty, wordlorn corner? When I do manage to put them down, I feel like a phoenix rising. Reborn. I am then ready for another world and another set of emotions. I feel purged.

I’m sure many of you are talented writers, and sometimes feel how I feel. I teach writing to children and adults, but I yearn to be a better writer. I am hungry to get better.

You might want to call me a word nerd at the end of this post, but writing is to me the way breathing is to any of us. It is natural and unbridled. It’s ebb and flow is like that of the eventide—placid, unruffled and continuous.

Words are sacred and they should be! They hold tremendous power and sway. I tell my students that they are creators of a different kind, and without doubt their heads turn towards me with a quizzical look. “Do not, and I say do not, take words lightly. They are your best friends at the worst of times.” You can pin your heart to your sleeve for the whole world to see when you write from the deep recesses of your heart. You will move someone one way or another. Some will tear up; some will laugh; some will not agree and will send you nasty responses, but in the end, a writer has to be true to his or her voice. I found mine when I was in college.

I wish I had started when I was very young. I feel like I’ve denied myself a life changing experience because I did not start out early. I have a good, good friend and we used to write to each other in our wee days. Plain old pen and paper worked the magic for us. We weren’t introduced to ballpoints yet, and so the romance of inkwells still existed. I’ve still preserved them, and believe you me, those letters still hold their power over me. The richness of language, visualizations, and a touch about the senses still holds me captive.

I haunt various spaces to find writing that moves me. Sometimes they fall off the page like pearls, and sometimes they don’t. And at times when they don’t, I just walk away. Many times we settle for the fake ones and do not make the effort to dig deeper to find the real gems. Stop. Drop. Roll over when you find words that move you.

Writing is work, and good writing is darn hard work. If you read something that felt easy to read, know then that the writer has poured over it for days to make you feel with her. Verbs, adjectives and nouns make beautiful things when stringed together on a tapestry. They light up worlds yet unknown.

So go out and light someone’s world today.

I have a project in mind that I will post about soon. Until then, keep lightnin’…