I live a life that’s saturated in words.
At work, a large part of what I do is to write. I write articles, posts for the company blog, posts for the employee blog, presentations, plans, speeches.
Outside of work, I have this blog, occasional guests posts on other blogs, a regularly scheduled feature over at Christian Manifesto, scheduled posts for The High Calling Blogs, the co-editing of TweetSpeak Poetry’s jams on Twitter, and comments on others’ blogs.
And then there’s the “novel project” or I should say “novel projects” because there are approximately three going on in my head – interior conversations, scenes, plots and somehow I’m keeping them separate. I hope.
Lots of words.
And I haven’t even started on the reading of words.
I love all of this. Every bit.
What all this writing of words has forced me to do is be disciplined. I have deadlines at work and self-imposed deadlines for the writing outside of work.
One particular piece of writing has also allowed me to see what I do in a different way. The editing of the “Twitter poems” at TweetSpeak Poetry is among the most difficult things I’ve done. You assemble 400 or 500 tweets, sometimes more, depending upon the number of participants. You then arrange them by where they “touch” each other – where one tweeted line is a response or amplification or transition from another. Participants add their lines in different ways – some jump right in with an almost stream of consciousness/word association approach and others take time to ponder and shape. And sometimes participants do both.
So the words and lines have to be teased and coaxed and studied and understood and associated. Sometimes the fit is automatically perfect; sometimes the fit has to be “edited.” And sometimes I have to add lines and words to bring some coherence to a poem.
It’s a fascinating exercise. It is also a kind of practice with words, ideas and themes.
In The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, Julia Cameron says that writing rewards practice – and I would add that practice rewards writing. “”Writing rewards attention,” she says. “Writing…remains a gateway to greater mystery, a way to touch something greater than ourself. Writing is an act of cherishing. It is an act of love.”
That’s it, exactly.
Over at the High Calling Blogs, Laura Boggess is leading a discussion of Cameron’s The Right to Write. Take a look and see what others are saying, commenting and posting. Last week’s discussion was about making it, honesty and vulnerability. This week‘s discussion is about footwork, practice and containment.
Julia Found Words for Me by L.L. Barkat.
Savoring Life by Nancy Kourmoulis.
Cassandra Frear’s Like Water on a Stone.
Sweeping by Marilyn.