Friday, March 19, 2010

Writing Isn't a Passion. It's Part of Who I Am.

Sometimes I feel myself being held back in writing, by feeling that everything I write should be profoundly or wonderfully something.  Wonderfully:



Thought provoking.

But then I realize that isn't the point.  Or at least, I don't want it to be the point.  To me, writing is such an important part of my life, and whether or not what I write is always *good* or not shouldn't matter as much as the fact I am writing, and by doing so I'm working out thoughts, finding new ways of looking at things, breaking the huge block a blank screen or piece of paper often represents, improving my writing abilities... 

A while back, in a conversation with my mother, she referred to writing as a passion of mine.  Instantly, that just didn't feel right to me.  "It's not a passion", I told her, "it's part of who I am."  Those words stuck with me, because as soon as I said them, I realized how true a statement it was.  Even if I lived to be 90 without ever coming across another computer keyboard or blank sheet of paper, I'd still be writing in my head.  I'm constantly thinking of posts and articles, going over different points, literally writing out bits in my head, figuring out what sounds best.  I regularly turn conversations into dialogue in my head, as well, moving words around and slightly rephrasing things until it all sounds just right, like a passage in a novel.

I don't think I ever go more than an hour without thinking about writing.  It's just such an integral part of my life, though one I don't often stop to consider properly.  And when I start to let myself get caught up in perfectionism, I forget that as part of who I am, part of my life and my being in this world, my writing has no more of an obligation to be "perfect" than any other part of my life.  I want my writing to be just as imperfect and in-the-moment as a conversation with a friend or my musings as I daydream in the sunshine...  As imperfect as an argument with my mother, or the incredible anger and grief over a terrible injustice.  I want my writing to reflect me, and to reflect my life, in all it's imperfect complexity.

Someone once made a comment online about life being an art, and I love that.  I also want to reverse it, and say that art, all arts, painting and drawing and writing and playing and singing and molding and building, should be lived as life.  Life is art and art is life.

I think this post is a perfect example: right here I went from blankness of mind and blankness of screen to waxing poetic about writing!  I really love writing.



  1. Wow, well said. That's exactly how I feel abut my art... this was really inspiring to me thanks!!

  2. Love this post!

    I wholeheartedly agree with you writing is my life not a passion. :)

  3. Yep! That's how I feel about writing, too.

  4. Yes! It's all art. I write and post about this. I love books about the *art of life* in all its genres.
    Along with my personal interests, I am finding raising/unschooling/facilitating etc my children an art form also.

  5. I know what you mean about feeling that pressure to be "interesting," "thought-provoking," and so on. In my late twenties-early thirties, I got pretty blocked as a writer by my own self-criticism. What helped me was to stop writing on a computer for a while (which helped me not edit so much as I went) and to write by hand. I would literally write, "That sentence is so lame" or "I know what I wrote just now totally doesn't make sense," and then I'd keep firing away and writing THROUGH the lame sentence. It helped me immensely. Then I could go back later and edit as I wished.

    Just wanted to offer that in case it was helpful.