Tuesday, August 25

writing for life

I've made a big decision.

What, bigger than the recent one that has shaken your life upside down?! you ask.

No, not bigger, but big.

I was going through my stuff. Doesn't the Dark Moon have amazing letting go energy? The letting go also included a Day of Tears on Saturday, which was very cleansing thankyouforasking
Anyway, what I went through I went through meticulously.
Did it add to my life?
Will I care if I never see it again?
Does this deserve a place in my I Must Own These Things Pile of life?

Anyway, as you do, I ended up looking through some old diaries/journals. In one, I mention how I gave up my dream to write. I knew back then that I didn't have the eloquence of some, but I used that as an excuse to mask the real reason - that I gave it up to accommodate my new married life and what was expected of me. I did myself a great disservice.

In my previous life, I had been travelling around Australia and writing on an old-fashioned typewriter. I wrote while a bunch of us, friends and strangers alike, sat in a circle sharing a piece of ourselves under a haze of smoke and dusty stars. Talking, sharing dreams, ideas, weirdness, laughter, deep thought. There I sat with my typewriter, sometimes joining in discussion, sometimes sinking my head low and typing, typing, typing.

Or I wrote on the back of napkins, or in beach sand, on my friends' arms, or on a small notepad during a stop for petrol (gas). It wasn't just writing, it was the freedom, the letting go of pieces I thought good.

Basically, I wrote. Poems, snippets, thoughts, starting lines, characters.... I had the germ of an idea of becoming a novelist, but I wrote because words simply spilt out.

And then life became traditional, fixed, bounderies were set, obligations formed, emotions in turmoil.

I stopped writing.

I think that studying, on some level, was a way to feed my need to write. All those essays... But it also aided in killing my creativity. It required exactness, pedantry, forcing my ideas into prescribed nooks. Not that there isn't any creativity in this type of writing, but I am of course talking about something wilder.

photo: Daniela Duncan

Years later, healing my Arrogance Shadow helped me to see that it would be unlikely for me to be a successful writer. Honestly, this is a good thing. Because that Shadow insists on perfection and perfection is a burden and an obstacle.

It does mean that today I can say this...

I'm going to write again.

It doesn't matter if it's any good, or if it will ever be published. I will write because it brings me joy.

I'm going to tap into that muse. I feel her waking. I'm going to have a notebook by my side, like the old days, and jot it all down. I'm not going to concern myself with whether I have enough time being a mother and all. Time is subjective.
I'm going to possibly work on something meatier, a novel. And just see where it goes.

It doesn't matter what I write. It isn't the result, it's the journey. Not the one we convince ourselves we are supposed to be happy with. But the journey of what brings us into our authentic selves.

I believe that we all deserve to take that ride.

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf


  1. I am so delighted to read this. I think you have natural talent, but that is beside the point. I understand about the need of it, and it makes me so happy to see you honouring your need.

  2. Mon,I also think you have a natural talent but can also understand the need you feel.

    Not so much from a personal level but this line really struck me

    "Basically, I wrote. Poems, snippets, thoughts, starting lines, characters.... I had the germ of an idea of becoming a novelist, but I wrote because words simply spilt out."

    Emily has a head "full" of ideas/stories/song lyrics/characters/phrases, some get jotted down in notebooks(oh how she loves notebooks,its a passion!!)but as writing does not come easily at the momoent a great deal of the time she will spend on her swing or hammock thinking up all the above and creating worlds for her latest character,and will then tell us a story from her heart:-)

    There are times when weeks pass and she can spend literally all day just swinging, I do sometimee get worried.I offer other activities but she really just wants to be out on her swing or hammock.

    Thankyou so much for this today you have helped me see what Emily does in a very different and much more positive light.I knew it was her passion and have always given her the space to just "be" but I got stressed and reading this something just "clicked" xx

  3. I feel that anyone that has a need for it is A Writer.
    An' it doesn't matter if you go for even a year without writing something.
    Writing will wait for you.

  4. Oh, but I could weep for this...I just might...

    I *get* this, I really do...more than you can imagine. And the synchronicity is unbelievable..the chapter I'm on in TAW is talking about perfectionism -- a particular curse of mine -- and how it's just a way to avoid *doing*. The whole get-it-right-or-don't-bother trap is a big part of what has held me back these last years....that, and the illusion of not having time...


    You rock.


  5. Good for you, Mon. Writing because it brings you joy makes you the best type of writer out there. So wake that muse.

  6. I am so glad you are going to write again... for you. xx

  7. Beautiful. I used to write notebooks full of poems, pages of them. I haven't tried in so long. You've encouraged me to pick up my pen again. Thank you!

  8. i enjoyed reading this. :) i don't know that i could ever write a novel but i do know i'd be an very unhappy soul without writing something, anything.


  9. This is wonderful news Mon! Hope it draws you back to you. :)

  10. Go for it! It's all about process.

  11. I absolutely adore this post because it describes perfectly my own thoughts and experiences on writing.
    (Although I've never had that awesome Australian experience).
    You write beautifully and express yourself with words better than you realize.

    Write your ass off!

  12. Excellent. I have a bit of catching up to do with the other BIG DECISIONS you have made recently (been hibernating don't you know) but I just wanted to say how wonderful it has been dropping by and seeing this. Never stop writing until the last word or urge has scurried out of you never to return. And you may well have scurried out never to return, with it. Happy scribbling.

  13. This is wonderful. Personally I think you are a wonderful writer here, I was surprised to read you didn't think yourself particularly eloquent at one point! Who knows where it will lead? I would love to see you do some non-fiction too, like exploring the crying experiments you did in more depth, because I think there is a gap out there in that area, but I know that might not be where your heart is.

  14. Thank you everyone of you for your support, it means a lot to me. Especially at this time

    Lisa - I am considering non-fiction as well. Doubt it would be that, possibly astrologically related... who knows what will spill out.

    Awakened Heart - oh my! you're out of the cave!? lol

  15. Wow Mon. Let me just say I am absolutely thrilled for you and it's about fn' time!!!! ha! I have a friend who recently had a novel published and she credits her local writing group for their support. I thoroughly enjoy reading whatever it is you have to say and look forward to whatever comes off of that typewriter of yours ;-). Out of the ashes...xoxo

  16. I don't know you...but I think you are a writer-that you ARE writing...look what you do here! There is value in this! There is beauty! Perfection is overrated. :) I hear you on the essays killing creativity...Have you ever read Wild Mind-Living the Writer's Life-by Natalie Goldberg? Wonderful book introduced to me by a very intuitive and funky art teacher at University. Helps to open up the flow and dispense with standardized writing. I hope you get to read it, I think you would like it. All the best in finding your wild side again! Where is that old typewriter?? :)

  17. I'll look into that book Laurie, thanks for that. And yes, blogging has been an amazing outlet. Thanks for reminding me that there is value in it too.

  18. I used to write poetry non-stop. Then I went to college and all my creative energy was sucked out of me. It hasn't been the same since. I want to write novel, too, and I also have that obstacle of perfectionism hindering me. I really want to get it right! Maybe I should start with a "practice novel"? Lol.

    Oh, and I think you have a lovely style of writing. It's one of the reasons I jump on your blog the second I see an update.

  19. Yeah, something is going on. I always link it to the moon myself. I, too, have been feeling out of touch and just picked up The Artists Way (as referenced by Mel) to get back to creativity. I think it is something as women we go through, we create life/babies, and with that huge undertaking, other creations get brushed aside. We need soul nourishment.

    Once you detach from the end result (i.e. getting published) the joy and love of writing can return and the creative juices flow.

    Happy writing!

  20. I had exactly the same experience when travelling I amassed loads of poems, musings, sketch plots of books. I still have them all and every few years I feel inspired to build on them or write something new. When I first made the move out here I found the space to start writing my long-germinated novel, The Revolting Therapist, drawing on my experiences of the wrold of counsellors & therapists that I inhabited from time to time before I moved away. I used to berate myself for not finishing anything I started but I don't now. I wait for the inspiration to return & I write again and its the process and the journey that's important. I wish you happy writing and a journey of growth.

  21. Hi, I just posted about a remedy you might find really useful!
    If you ever visit, I will give you that piece of art - it's only paint on painting paper though, I could easily post it to you Mon! Will see how it rolls when it's dry. May not be as nice in real life, I think it looks better though :)

  22. Yay for writing!!! I am so glad to read that. You have inspired me: I am going to write music. LOTS :) WOO!

    Many Blessings

  23. Bravo! I'm doing the same thing - I gave up for a long time, because I was never able to get published. But who cares! That's not why writers write. Keep it up!

  24. Congratulations, mama. Write your little heart out. Even if no one ever reads it you've expelled it. I feel that way right now about my camera. I will never even touch some of the greats, but when I walk I just see things out of the corner of my eye that I just want to record.

    For me this period of time is reflecting on myself and what my needs are and what creative outlets are necessary for my happiness and which others just cause frustration. glad to see you've come back to your source.

  25. Hi again Monica
    Ok, so I'm coming to this post a year late and I commented on your current one earlier today, but I just wanted to say two more things.
    I gave up writing for many years because I thought it was the "right" thing to do at the time. Eventually though, the words pushed their way back out of me like babies. Some things just won't be held down. So four years on I have a collection of poetry that I love snuggled cozily in my drawer and I am so THANKFUL for that.
    And just for interest's sake: I moved from Oz to England at the age of 24. I hoped to get a little further, but 15 years on I'm still here and doing ok with that.

  26. how funny that we moved at the same age Lousie.

    i'm so glad for you, for those poems in the drawers! waiting for you.


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