Thursday, August 21, 2008

Writers are...

This week I’ve been giving thought to Chapter One of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I started out doing the morning pages each day, complete with blurts and affirmations. I’ve gotten way behind on my other writing because I’ve spent so much time with those writings. One person said he didn’t need to waste time on writing prompts, which I don’t regard these writings as writing prompts. But I do have other things to do. Like writing. My blog. My short stories. My novels. And I do need to take time to read. Good/great authors don’t just write. They also read. Everything they can get their hands on, just as Irene McKinney, West Virginia’s Poet Laureate said. And Stephen King has said repeatedly that he carries a book with him everywhere he goes. He doesn’t worry about offending people socially since a writer lives a mostly solitary life anyway.

OK. So some people don’t like Stephen King and think he writes too long. I guess everyone isn’t challenged by long books, thick books. I always have been. I can devour short books in no time when I don’t have anything else to do. Which brings me to another comment I have heard, but I can’t remember who said it. “Every writer needs a housewife.” Who has time for scrubbing woodwork and walls, scouring sinks, tubs and toilets, mopping floors and such when there is so much writing to be done?!

On the other hand, at this stage of my game I’m thinking, “What is REALLY important in life?” I mean, we are born, we live and we die. When we are born, we are so busy learning how to become independent. It generally takes us about 18 years or so. I think I was pretty independent by the time I was 12. We learn what our elders consider “important.” Then we may spend 25 years trying to live by those things only to discover, as Snow Patrol sings, “forget what we’re told, before we get too old.” Life is just what we make it. What WE decide is important, what matters.

I get in trouble occasionally because at church the evangelist tries so hard to force us into obedience. I am unwilling to blindly follow what any human being tells me. Firstly, my mother taught my siblings and me that we are to do our own thinking, make our own decisions. We are to be responsible and dependable. Honorable and true. And I can’t help believing that God expects us to question anything that could lead to our downfall. My interpretation: Don’t blindly follow anyone. Look at Jonestown. Waco. And any other cults where people just blindly accepted what they were told and did what they were told…like feeding poison-laced grape Kool-Aid to their children and dying en masse. Those people didn’t test the humans who were leading them. I am unwilling to do succumb to something like that. And I guess that makes me a rebel. Fine. I am a rebel. And a woman of faith. That is good enough for me.

What does any of this have to do with writing? Writers are readers. Writers are philosophers. Writers are thinkers. Writers are observers. And writers write what they think. There can be some risk involved with that.

Welcome to my world.

1 comment:

Christina Lorenzen said...

Hi Cathy,
I happened to be reading Momwriter posts and saw your reply to Pam regarding Moses.
Though I should be working, that led me to your blog and your most recent post.
I found your thoughts on what writers are very insightful. Enjoyed the read but I should get back to work here.
Good luck with the novel and I'll be back to read your future posts!
Chris Lorenzen