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.
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 🙂