Posted by: main street writers | October 19, 2011

Comments on the Writing Life – A Trilogy: Part One

Comments on the Writing Life … Part One

This turned out to be a very long post. I have a tendency to expand, given the slightest opportunity; and while blogging wisdom calls for posts that are short and shiny, well… this one just wouldn’t condense into bullets.

So I’ve herded my thoughts on the Writing Life into three sections.  Here is Part One, with a question at the end. I hope you’ll lend your thoughts and experiences to the conversation.    — Kathy

Creativity is a Gift.  Everyone has It.

At some very basic level, creativity is a gift that each of us carries. Some people express their creativity through music. Some dance. For some, it’s raising children, or building an organization, or cooking a nourishing meal. Creativity is a living force. It’s everywhere – and it’s ours to tap, in whatever ways most move us.

Telling Stories

Telling stories – placing words together in ways that convey an experience or idea – is an act of creativity.

Stories are everywhere. We share them on the phone, at work, over the dinner table, in brief outbursts and long, slow conversations. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking to strangers or people we know, to pets or a higher self: the stuff of our talk is …stories.

Writer and political activist Muriel Rukeyser said,

“The Universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

I have to agree: even the concept of atoms is a story.  And whether our stories are simple or complex, long or brief: when we put words together in ways that have meaning for us, we are participating in the creative process.

Telling stories onto paper or word doc is likewise a creative act. Creativity lives at the heart of writing; it draws us into a process that is challenging, inviting, confusing, surprising, and occasionally just plain fun.

So …Why Write?

Why write? I guess it boils down to a simple question:

Is life with writing in it…better than life without writing in it?

It is for me.

And what about you? What moves you to write – what moves you to want to write when other responsibilities claim your time?  What is the ‘tipping point’ that moves you to say “I like to write…I am a writer”?



Comments on the Writing Life:

Part Two – Practicing Trust

Part Three – A Community of Practice



  1. I was putting a letter into a post box, one lovely spring day, and the postal box happened to be underneath a double cherry tree in full bloom. Those branches hung over the box like a bridesmaids floral umbrella in some victoriana procession. I could not get over the size of the blooms, the dark red veins running through the pink petals, then fell into the details of the bark, and suddenly realized I was talking aloud to the tree!!!! THAT is why I write. To exhale the wonder that I inhale. To exhale the misery that I absorb. To exhale and make room for the next breath.

  2. For me, the call to create is the call to live. If I don’t respond, it’s like rejecting life. It’s a daily reminder to find that one live ember inside that’s always glowing, but that needs to be refreshed morning after morning. And never to be taken for granted.

  3. Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it.
    Ernest Hemingway



  4. my life is definitely better when i write!
    i think back to all those years when i did not put pen to paper, or even a hint of placing my fingers across a keyboard for more than e-mail, or holiday wish lists, and it’s a wonder that i didn’t go crazy …. oh wait! wait time is it? why am i awake so early? …. my body woke up and my mind said: stay up and write! … perhaps there is a mild case of craziness happening, but it’s creative insanity and to do anything else would be ludicrous!

  5. When the writing is good, it doesn’t fail to surprise me, and empower me, and delight me, and make me feel that life is wonderful. And wish I could share the feeling with everyone I love.

  6. […] of a Three-Part posting on the Writing Life.  If you haven’t read Part One, you can find it here.  When you’re done, come on back and have a look at this […]

  7. […] Part One: Creativity is a Gift. Everyone Has It. […]

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