WRITERS AND ACTUALLY WRITING
June 15, 2020
I hope you are all staying safe and are well. The despair is deep all around us. I wonder what you might be writing (or not writing.)
I’ve been reading so many creative and sound tips on how to keep on writing, watched lots of great writing webinars, while living mostly in a cocoon. But when I attempt to pull out my writing notebook and favorite pen, I get sleepy.
Emily Hanlon is a wonderful writing teacher I’ve known for a long time. email@example.com
She once suggested gazing deeply into the middle of a flower. Notice the layers of petals, the center that connects them, the colors, the fragrance, any wilting. Notice how it makes you feel.
I sat on my garden bench and gazed into this peony for several minutes. Like the petals I began to feel the many layers of myself. It was lovely.
But it didn’t inspire a story. And you know what? I’ve accepted that it’s okay. I have all these big wafts of time and I’m not writing much. And it’s okay.
For me, my days are nevertheless very creative. They are flowing more deeply and at a slower pace. We are surrounded by woods and I spend many hours outside gazing at the tulip trees intertwined with the elms, maples and beech trees swaying in the wind and scraping the sky. The robins and bright bluebirds swoop and flutter. A huge mama turtle inched across the little hill behind our house. I caught a glimpse of the arrogant bushy-tailed red fox trotting at a fast pace not thirty feet from me. It was a gift. He owns the grassy paths too, of course!
I spend hours and hours reading one book after another—literary fiction, children’s classics. They have expanded my humanity. I can feel it. My dear husband Garrett and I have a great marriage-saver. He watches TV news with earphones and I read. Both happy and together.
For those of you who are absorbed in your writing, may your writing muse continue to touch you deeply. For those of us who are not writing at the moment, we are still always writers. Maybe our imaginations are just in the unconscious collecting mode!
Public marketing for my middle-grade book, “Witchy Magic and Me, Maggie,”
www.witchymagicandmemaggie.com is more or less on hold. But I have high hopes for Maggie down the road!
That peony DID inspire a story: this blog. And a beautiful post it is! Thank you for writing much of what I’m feeling. But I am also lucky to be living with my best friend, my wife, Ann. We’ve been married 37 years and haven’t run out of things to say to each other yet.
Thank you again, for sharing your insights with the rest of us.
Hi back Bob! I’m so grateful and always happy to hear your thoughts. Your line from one of your plays, “My name is Hamlet–Got a problem with that?” floated into my mind the other day and I laughed and laughed all over again. Genius, Bob!!
You’re kind to say so, Cynthia. Here in WA, I’ve completed work on my musical about Shakespeare’s life and six of his plays. It’s really a kind of Rap Opera. I’m collaborating with a talented composer who is writing the music. We’re submitting it to organizations and festivals for 2021.
Lovely post today. Sounds like you are floating and “gathering in” many kinds of creative nutrients while away from the writing. An important time, for sure. Love the peony!
Folklore has it that “mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the peony.”
Of course they do, Paula!!! I love that you told me this–and you know I’m going to look for those little nymphs!