Liz does Creative Writing Course #4

Hello! Time for my weekly creative writing course update… I have to be honest, this has been the only feature that has somewhat survived on my blog. I want to do all these fantastic regular features, but damn, I suck at this blogging thing so bad. I have no blog schedule, planner or the like, I just wing it… so I am pleased that at least I aim to follow through with this one thing.

Liz does Creative Writing Course #1 ¦ Liz does Creative Writing Course #2 ¦ Liz does Creative Writing Course #3

At the end of session #3 we read an arcticle ‘Why I Write’ by Joan Didion which was originally published in 1976. For homework we each had to go away and write why we write. This task out a bit of fear into me, because I don’t ever know why I do something. It’s as hard as explaining what I’m good or bad at, or writing my CV. I literally ‘flap’ through my life without giving a second thought to why I do, am or act a certain way. And yet I can observe others and notice the important things or the pros and cons not related to myself. It’s bloody well annoying. It’s so important to understand oneself to make any kind of an important decision and seetr one’s life in the right direction. I look back at certain points in my life and i think- damn, you silly cow! But, hindsight is a great teacher, too, sometimes.

I decided to approach writing this short piece by first creating a list of all the possible reasons I write, no matter how interesting or dull. I then read that list multiple times and allowed a story to form in my head that felt ‘close enough’. I wanted to start with a certain point and I wanted to end with a certain point. Having 7 days to work on this piece was not nearly enough. I am left feeling again as if I have been rushing and lined up word after word just to show I got my homework done.

Prompt: Why I Write? Get a bit psyhcological, write about what writing means to you.

And here’s my piece…

Why do we humans do anything at all? Often, we act automatically, by default. The drive for our actions can be based on a nu,ber of reasons: validation, anger, joy, the need to make a mark. Jack Kerouac said: “Something that you wfeel will find its own form.”

We are not only muscle, bone and blood. We are odd-shaped bottles filled to the brim with emotions, ideas and ambitions. Some of us compartmentalize the data into the back office of our brains, into a folder satmped with ‘Not important. Ignore.’ Others need to have an outlet  to shake off the feelings that are the outcome of the computing that goes on non-stop in the grey matter.

I could have stuck with with the drum kit in a corner of a cold garage, I could have picked up gardening or  cycling or long walks or knitting or drinking in the park. And don’t get me wrong- I enjoy all of those things, but for different reasons. Going through rudiments with wooden sticks and fitting in the double bass is brilliant. In fact, who needs anger management when you have Therapist Doctor Drumkit? Gardening, cycling and long walks will give me health, a couple of carrots and lovely calf muscles. Knitting will keep me stocked up with woolly socks and drinking in the park is simply fun. But all those activities add only more thoughts and ideas in my head. There’s capacity for the brain to keep going in the background. I can’t paint or create wooden sculptures with a chainsaw, so I write!

If there’s so much to express, why not start a TED talk and purge subjective widsom into the cesspool of triple w? Not such a good idea when I’m unable to express myself verbally on the fly. I would need to write a script to run said TED talk. Write!

I have a vision and when I speak it, the vision runs away in new directions in my head and I forget that people can’t read my mind. So, I ramble and when I’m finished rambling, I end up thoroughly disappointed with myself, wishing I never opened my mouth at all.

Only when I write I am able to focus and address all the talking points I have set in line in my mind. Writing is something that I turn to when I need to slow down, when what I have to say is important, when I need an outlet for anger, angst, banter or whatever new oddity ails my mental. My thoughts are a muddled mess, and I write to know if there is any meaning or purpose behind them at all.

But, the main reason I write is because I count my life in regrets because regrets are the foundations of future decisions and future happiness. When it’s time to tally up my regrets, I don’t want ‘I never wrote’ to be one of them.

In session #4 we also read a short story called ‘The ducks’ by Raymond Carver. We discussed the technical elements of it and then the group organically divided into two (Team Husband and Team Wife) as we began to psychoanalyze what it might mean. That was fun!

We also read a poem ‘Sisters’ by Annemarie Ni Churreáin and for next week my homework is to write a poem in similar structure… So, come by next week again to see how I got along with that particular poetic task.. ahem

Why do you write? Share your reasons with me in the comments 🙂

23 comments

  1. Hmm, I write because I love visiting different worlds and ideas and imaginations, and sometimes I have these crazy ideas that I want to create worlds out of, not simply leave them to fade away. I also want to share my opinions, discuss them with others and get feedback. Writing is a very fulfilling pursuit because it allows me to explore my own thoughts to the fullest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you still came up with something for this prompt. Being able to understand why we do what we do definitely helps in doing that very thing, at least long term! And I’m totally with you on how writing helps you organize your thoughts and actually have all your thoughts out there! Great piece once again, Liz. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lashaan! 🙂 I think being able to focus and set meaningful words into a sentence is the main reason people have given for why they write… when your mind goes million miles an hour, it’s great how a pen slows everything right down 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You mentioning hindsight made me think of the quote “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

    So every time I read your pieces, there’s always one part that touches me more than any other. This week it was the ending – “I count my life in regrets because regrets are the foundations of future decisions and future happiness. When it’s time to tally up my regrets, I don’t want ‘I never wrote’ to be one of them.” – gosh, that’s so powerful, and so thought-provoking at the same time!!! If I was reviewing your work, that would be quote worthy of being in, not only my review, but it’d make it into my reading journal where I keep a record of my favourite quotes! In fact, I might jot it down any way, because ‘I never wrote’ can be substituted for so many things in life. Brilliant, Liz, brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There is a good chance, I believe, that being exposed to an activity (especially a creative one) in childhood can direct one to the same activity in adulthood. It isn’t genetic but what many biologists call a “meme”. Thus one is more likely to become a pianist if one’s mother, say, is/was a pianist; one is more likely to write or act if one’s father, say, does/did so.
    That said, I think the fundamental driving force is the belief that something is wrong with the world. If we lived in a paradise there would be no writers. There would be no need for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah I also have trouble defining why I do things as well. hehe like your opening 😉 I loved your thoughts on this- it reminded me of something I heard someone say about how when we articulate things- aka speaking or writing- that’s how we actually think. Really great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! 🙂
      What a good point- and yes, all the criticism I have received from the tutor this far has boiled down to not being focused and ‘simple’ in my writing enough. And that’s because when one thinks in complicated manner, it tends to flow onto paper the same way… so, the trick is to get more control and start filtering! 😀

      Like

  6. So many emotions coursing through me reading this! I can’t even describe how much I can relate to what you’ve written.

    ‘I have a vision and when I speak it, the vision runs away in new directions in my head and I forget that people can’t read my mind. So, I ramble and when I’m finished rambling, I end up thoroughly disappointed with myself, wishing I never opened my mouth at all.’ YES. I’ve always joked that the reason why I write is because I can barely string a sentence together verbally and while I’m somewhat joking, there’s a large degree in truth in this. Some of my deepest regrets and deepest hurts have arisen from not adequately expressing what thoughts, feelings and ideas are rampaging through my mind in that moment. Nothing is as bitter as the disappointment you feel when coming away from a situation where you know you could have expressed yourself better. I always get worried that people will think I’m nothing more than a rambling, nonsensical mess and this is why, like you, I enjoy writing. Writing gives me the opportunity to order the chaos that’s inside my head. Writing gives my thoughts and ideas the order that speaking doesn’t. Writing allows me to be me.

    Fantastic piece as always ❤

    Like

  7. I’m glad you didn’t choose drinking in the park as a life passion. I think it would have ended up being one of your regrets. 😂

    Gosh, what a loaded question to ask. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about why I write, or play guitar, or teach people to read. It’s weird that none of those things are my real job, though. Hmm… one thing I know is all three of those things make me feel content, whole, and real when I’m doing them. 😊

    Something I have come to terms with in my old(er) age is not regretting anything because like you said… we make better decisions based on them (which is strange because you have to regret in order not too regret them *mind boiling*), but also, many choices I have regretted in the past have either led me to things I love now, like my son, or would have kept me from other experiences that I grew from, or made me find something better. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so happy. 😜 No regrets!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hahaha, yeah, I’ve done my fair share of park-drinking… those days are behind me! 🙂

      Ah, I think you made an interesting observation- ‘It’s weird that none of those things are my real job, though.” – I wonder if either of those things were a routine job, would the enjoyment go down? Depends, I guess… but if you’re forced to do something, we can always develop a certain mental block? But, it’s great to have those things we enjoy doing – there’s not only benefits for ourselves, but for others as well! 🙂

      Hahahaha, you just defined the paradox of regrets! Brilliant, I love it! I never even thought that far ahead but you’re right! #NoRegrets!

      Like

  8. Beautiful, Liis! As someone who doesn’t feel compelled to write, I can’t really answer your question. But I was caught up in your words and passion with your homework. 7 days wasn’t enough, you say? I don’t blame you! Writing is challenging. I find that for me, for blogging, all posts require more time than I think they’d need. Each book review typically takes me 3-4 hours. Each discussion post 2-3. It’s a time-consuming process, but I do it out of not only love but a need to express. I’m so glad you’ve found writing. And I cannot WAIT to hear about you and poetry! XD 🙂

    Like

Have your say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.