As I continue with The Courage to Write and struggle with some writing group issues, and as I read Marianne's blog today, writing is very much on my mind.
Not my writing, per se, although thanks to some encouragement from my friend Charity, I'm finally finishing revisions on a long dormant YA.
However, I really am thinking more about the process of writing. What it means to write. To critique. To support others in their acts of writing.
What writing means. Why do we write?
Okay, so these are the same topics that most writers grapple with.
So, why, suddenly, did I want to really get back to writing? Why did my excuses run out?
And even without writing, I was having a perfectly lovely summer. I love to cook, and I was doing a lot of that. I love to teach, and I was doing a lot of preparation for the fall. I love my family, and I was doing a lot for them.
But you know, you cook a meal, you eat it. People might praise your cooking. You make people happy. That's good. But it's gone, over, finis. That's it. Reliving the meal isn't going to bring you (or anyone else) the remotest bit of pleasure. You can cook the same thing again. People will enjoy it. But they'll consume the calories, many or few, and then it's over.
You can, however, read beloved stories over and over. The revisiting can be lovely. You'll get new things each time. I could read Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice every year and see new points. And learn new things. And grow from entering these favorite worlds again.
And writing, we're all pirates. We're all searching for treasure which we'll find by trying different angles. And we can live in fantastical worlds and have the most fascinating people (or creatures) for company. And if we don't like where we are, we can change it with a tap on the keyboard. We can leave fat bodies and become acrobats; leave skinny bodies and grow voluptuous curves, leave troubles and become adventurers, leave safe lives and fall into unimaginable dangers.
We can get inside your head.
How much more pirate is that?
So I realized that I've blocked this wanting, this longing that I've had by burying myself in the mundane. And yes, Charity was sooooo right to nudge me towards The Courage to Write. Because it's so much easier to bake a quiche than to be a pirate.
But it's a lot less fun.