Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Write Life

A few weeks ago I attended a meeting of the League of Utah writers. I have to be honest, when I walked into the library's conference room and saw that most of the attendees were white-haired old ladies I almost turned and walked right back out. But, fortunately for me, I stayed, and listened to a presentation by the delightful Ann Cannon.

Ann Cannon talked about ways that each of us, published or not, professional or amateur, can have a "writing life." Some things she suggested are things I already do, like have a writing blog, attend writing conferences, or indulge in the tools of writing (stylish notepads from Target, anyone?). She suggested joining a critique group (but how?). She also suggested that, in order to possibly garner some good karma, to write a charming note to an author. I, personally, have never done this, but it may not be a bad idea... I could use some good karma.

I always complain that writing is an isolating endeavor. But she put a different spin on that for me. She said she likes to write to have a place to go... for solitude. I hadn't thought of writing in this way before, but I like it. It seems much more healthy to say you write, in part, for solitude, instead of isolation.

I've been thinking about why I write. Sometimes it seems I derive more pain than pleasure from it. There are a lot of reasons that I am drawn to writing. Lately, I think one of the primary reasons is because it gives me a way to organize the myriad thoughts and musings that cross my mind every day. I like finding these little tidbits of thought in the world, jotting them down on a lined notebook, and then figuring out a way to fit them all together.

So, how about you? What's your reason for seeking the "write life?"


  1. Some people run, sew, or shop to release stress--I write. There is nothing like the "high" I feel when I construct the perfect sentence.

  2. Kim, thanks for commenting on my blog. And thanks for the nice compliment here.

    I enjoyed this--you've inspired me!

    Best wishes and keep writing.

  3. I've never heard of anyone indulging in the tools of writing before--I thought I was the only one! Whenever I go to the store, I have a near compulsive need to buy a little notebook, and I carry my Parker pen, (the Cadillac), with me wherever I go! It's so nice to know I'm not the only weirdo in the world. :)

  4. Ha, ha, Curtis - you are definitely not alone! There's a lot of us weirdos out there...
    Angie - I totally can relate to the high you get when you write something that is just right.
    Ann - Thanks for stopping by! And for the encouragement :)

  5. 'Your solitude is the price you have paid for your freedom.'
    --Ursula K. LeGuin

  6. i write on my blog for two reasons:

    1) i write to tell about what is going on in my life and show examples through photos.

    2) i write when i need an outlet. i write when i am overwhelmed in life and need someone to talk to, but don't have a physical person to vent to. i write because not very many people understand what i am feeling about my life and the circumstances of it. i write to share my thoughts and feelings about life and the pain i go through or even the JOY i experience. i write these things out so that they don't consume me.

    i think i will enjoy reading your blog. i am glad i finally got the address.

    love you Kim.

    p.s. you should check out my sister's blog. she just had her first book published earlier this year and i think you might enjoy her writing blog... if you want.

  7. I just gave you an award on my blog...I'd love it if you stopped by and checked it out :)

  8. I want to figure out how to get more solitude in my life. Why do I seemingling avoid doing that which I love?

  9. Oh, how I love Ann Cannon. She is a breeze of sanity and craziness, all at once.