That is what it is like to be a writer. To always feel like we must express ourselves with written words. That our thoughts and feelings must be given a voice and shared with someone, anyone, everyone. We are sorcerers, magicians, dramatists, philosophers, and theorists. We are the dreamers. In the words of William H. Gass, “The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”
I was so excited when I saw Patricia Saxton’s post that she was doing a blog hop. A few years ago, another friend had invited me to a hop. But I wasn’t ready. And although I really wanted to dive in and become part of the blogging community, I was a long way from being a blogger. Almost a year into my I Must Be A Mermaid blog, here I am at the hop!
I think I have always been a mermaid. For as long as I can remember I have loved the sea, returning time and time again to the deep waters to soothe my soul and bring peace to my heart. Anais Nin’s quote gripped me and never let me go – “I Must Be A Mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” And so it was with that as my guiding light that I began to dive deeply into and give voice to my personal emotional storms. Life, like the ocean is a constant ebb and flow. We are in perpetual transformation. As a mother, wife, daughter, sister, editor, writer’s coach, and mermaid, I have much to write and comment about.
1.What am I working on/writing?
I am always writing. I find myself jotting down ideas and thoughts all the time. My computer desktop is full with files of all sorts of things that strike me about life and the world in which I live. Essays, poems, stories, commentary… all make their way from my heart and mind to the page. Although much of what I write becomes blog posts, several months ago I began writing a long form project and I am trying hard to find time to consistently work on what I am thinking of calling ‘Tales from’ or ‘Caught in’ the net of life.
2.How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
There are so many fantastic and brilliant writers out there that inspire me to think and to give voice to my own introspection. Every voice is unique and so my perspective is unique to me and my experiences. I think I write and speak for a collective of women who are my peers and soul sisters, swimming through the ups and downs of children, marriage, relationships, life’s turbulent currents, and the emotional weather that we all experience.
3.Why do I write what I do?
I am an emotional creature. Some would call me an empath, sensitive to every nuance in the world around me. Everything affects me. Everything tears at my heart and soul. I am compelled to write as I am compelled to breathe and live. William Wordsworth said, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” And that is exactly what I do. I write because my feelings and thoughts burst from me. I write because I cannot bear not to express my feelings and thoughts. “I write only because there is a voice within me that refuses to be still.” Sylvia Plath.
4.How does my writing process work?
I have post its, pieces of paper, notes on my phone, notes in a document on my computer… Words, phrases, fragments of ideas seem to fly in to me – it is like they come in to my air space and circle, coming in at various degrees and intensities. I try to write something everyday whether it be just writing down an idea to write on, or fleshing out something that has been on my mind. I often write when I am on the bicycle at the gym, furiously punching the keys into my iphone notes section as I spin at speeds in excess of 70 rpm’s. Some of my best pieces have been started on those early morning rides where I navigate my day’s emotional waves. I put on headphones and listen to music when I write. It is important that I feel secluded, tucked in to my world. I like to write when I can focus on only the written words being expressed through my thoughts, uninterrupted in the quiet times of morning or late at night. Because I was a freelance editor and writer’s coach, I write and edit and work my pieces through several times… reading them aloud to myself and sometimes even to my husband. I find it really helps to hear the words out loud. When I am working towards a deadline (like for a blog post,) my process is a little more structured. I might read and rework a piece several times each day leading up to the post time, each time getting it closer, revising and honing the words, the structure, and the tone of the piece.
I do hope I have inspired you to go and create! I think sharing these kinds of insights and philosophies about the art of writing helps others to feel more comfortable and confident in their own creative pursuits. After all, we are all connected. We are all here to support and nurture each other.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bernadette Rose Smith for graciously inviting me to participate in this blog hop. You can read more about Bernadette and her ‘musings from the messy room’ below.
Bernadette Rose Smith is the resident muse of MuseFusions. A writer and artist, she makes marks on paper with words and paint. Strives to be messy and playful. Casts all “shoulds” to the wind. Surrounds herself with artful and literary eye candy. Finds courage in embracing her vulnerability publicly. And, when she makes a real mess, she upcycles, repurposes and takes recreation in her re-creation. Her fidgety fascination with the power of words to heal birthed Enlightened Ink and published “Bernadette’s Pages: An Intimate Crossroad,” a book that journeys through the “I do but he doesn’t” time in her marriage. (Because life’s messy moments are invitations to love.) Bernadette also spends time in people’s homes and closets. (No, she’s not a voyeur or stalker.) She offers a holistic blend of Feng Shui, de-cluttering and organizing through her company, Enlightened Interiors. You’ll find her musing on Facebook and blogging at Musings from the Messy Room, where you will find her answers to the Writer’s Blog hop.
And now I would like to introduce three wonderful friends and fellow writers who are next up on the hop: Ivy Tobin, Vanessa Kent, and Sue Watt: