Having a lover’s quarrel with the writing. On again. Off again spurts of creativity. Addiction to television binges. At least with so many choices today: Netflix, Amazon, Cable TV, one can choose good viewing. Fleabag on Amazon, Endeavour on PBS, Planet Earth on Netflix. Happiness is a large flat screen television, cushy leather couch, and a sympathetic feline.
After writing journals from age twelve until I began writing books, now on my fourth. Before book writing, it was poetry, plays, teleplays, and screenplays. Then spurred by writing innumerable papers in graduate school which fine-tuned prose writing, I turned to book writing. Returning only occasionally to journal writing – as today.
After earning a good living writing, awards, invited to teach the art and craft everywhere both here in the States, Europe, UK, Middle East, and Asia.
Then why is it, after decades of doing what I do best, sitting down is still the hardest part! Demonic doubts plagued the eager brain: can I still do it well? Does it really matter if I don’t spend any effort on social media or what is today referred to as the author’s platform?
Yet then when I make myself sit down and take the plunge despite all the voices of conspiracy to not write, that suddenly the muse appears and I’m off to the races. Racing with myself, that is.
It’s all process, writing is – rather like living your life. Unique. There’s only one of you and so it will be with what you write. It takes courage to write. It’s not just daring to speak with your voice about what matters to you or even about risking livelihood to live off your words. It’s the digging up memories and re-living heartbreak and not caring what anyone thinks of your efforts. Good reviews. Bad reviews. Rejection. Applause. It’s what you were born to do and even when it’s like pulling a train uphill and not like flying as it was thirty years ago, you still get back in that chair and say, “OK, I’m here. I’m the instrument and the portal is open for whatever happens.” That’s the process.
There’s no one way to write anything. Yes, craft can be taught but each and every writer must discover his or her own individual process and surrender to it with faith, hope, and courage.
“People without hope do not write books.” – Margaret Atwood
Aug 21-25 Sequoia National Park: Far Horizons, https://farhorizons.co/aug-21-25-2019-catherine-jones/
Sept 26-28 San Luis Obispo, CA, www.centralcoastwritersconference.com