I am an accidental writer…I like that phrase, not original but borrowed from the Anne Tyler book, The Accidental Tourist.
Accidental, because I didn’t plan to write. I never imagined that I would spend many hours of my day writing and if you asked me what it is that I do I would answer with many alternatives, none of them including, ‘writer’.
That is why the idea that my writing is, ‘accidental’ appeals… words and the making sense of them were never my intention.
I read other writer’s words. I communicated through speech; my feelings were emotions to be talked about not written down.
Speech was easier, safer and in the moment; words consigned to a page would last forever and could never be withdrawn. I think that frightened me.
Chance, serendipity, luck…being in the right place at the right time…jump started my love affair with words.
There can be joy in finding the right word or phrase to describe what you see or how you feel.
There is challenge in filling the page and seeing thoughts take shape and come alive.
And there is satisfaction, great satisfaction when someone understands and identifies with what you say.
Writing is an art form for very few but life’s blood for so many. It is a gift to write well but that does not make the practice and habit of words exclusionist.
I believe that everyone can write and that everyone should write.
We need to write to survive in our world.
We may not send pages of beautiful cursive script but we craft emails, we blog, we Facebook, we even Twitter.
All these forms of communication require sharp thought and a specialist use of language.
How can we write if our minds and fingers are unfamiliar with the practice?
Writing is like learning a sport; we must have the desire, find the discipline to practise our moves and be willing to test ourselves.
Writing is in the detail and in the observation of life; open minds, open hearts and open eyes provide our content.
Writing does not have to be brilliant, mistakes are how we learn. I often shudder at my past attempts, but so much better to have graced the page than not.
Harshness and self criticism are useless tools.. as we must be kind to our bodies and guard our health, we must be kind to our minds.
We must let our pens run across the page, and our fingers fly across the keyboard without self judgement.
Gigi, at The Magpie’s Fancy, is a favourite blogger of mine. Gigi is both a talented writer and a creative writing teacher. She improvises ways to encourage and help us write.
She is inspired in her teaching and in the simple ways she suggests for us to find our voice.
I tried one of Gigi’s exercises..a few words about a ‘colour’ without ever mentioning the name of the colour.
This is what I came up with…
Memories bounce back to life – people, places and objects come quickly to mind when I imagine my colour. My childhood bedroom was a little girl’s dream to wake up in; nasty nightmares and grizzly thoughts would banish as soon as my eyes opened. My spirits would lift as the familiar came into focus.
Milestones were marked by my colour – my first and only role on the stage, my first kiss, my first valentine… my first child. My colour is as soft as a newborn’s cheek and as strong as an evening sunset. My colour is as sweet as candy and as bitter as cough elixir. My colour is as loud and sharp as the flash of fireworks that light up the night sky. My colour is as long as a bolt of silk and as smooth as a reel of thread. My colour is as fragrant as the rose that flowers and perfumes my springtime.
You already know…my colour is pink.
Writing really isn’t so complicated if you think about it.
It is just speaking out loud with ‘pen’ in hand… xv