Friday, August 19, 2011

A Discovery of Self

Brooke is taking this Friday off to enjoy some travel time with her family. In her place we have guest blogger and NCW member Dean Miller

After a day of non-writing, I discovered something new. All my writing has been directed toward a project, or a particular goal; my words have to be pointed at something concrete, like a seawall that stands solid in the face of a storm. I found, too, that I’m not writing to hold something back—as if my non-words on the page were strong enough to withstand the on rushing waves of sentences and paragraphs I knew were coming. But, if those waves were heading nowhere, why write them? Shouldn’t everything have direction and be moving toward completion?

I’ve finally accepted that all things in my life don’t have to lead somewhere; they can be strong in the place they currently occupy. The seawall does not move. It occupies a place. It is simply there. Likewise, my undirected writing can exist just on paper. Someday it may join a future piece or past effort. But for now, it’s okay to write just for the sake of capturing thoughts and giving them a place to be.

After taking a deep breath, well several really, I write without a destination in mind. At first it felt strange, most likely because it was new. Now I’m more comfortable when my writing sessions head off in an unknown direction. Maybe just getting a few words spilled across the page, like an upturned box of Post Alpha-Bits cereal, will be enough to satisfy my writing hunger. Bits and pieces may fall to the floor, but the wonder of writing—and the wonder of words—allow the voice of my soul to sing again.

How about you? Can you let your words decide which way they’ll go, only when they are good and ready? Or do you map out their journey and hold their hand the entire way?


Dean K Miller is a member of NCW. His blog, "And Then I Smiled" can be found at: www.deankmiller.blogspot.com. He writes a monthly on-linefly fishing article for Elkhorn Fly Rod and Reel, and just debut an on-line serial titled "The River Zen" found at www.flyfishingcrazy.com

5 comments:

Marlena Cassidy said...

Hi Dean, Kerrie!

I tend to let my writing go where it wants. I have a vague destination in mind, the path to getting there can be winding, straight, or even blocked. It's all about the journey for me.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've tried my best to map out my projects ahead of time but that never seems to work out. I'm taking Todd Mitchell's class on Sunday to see if he can set me straight.

Edna Pontillo said...

Once there's a direction, my words usually call the shots. I must say I'm happier with the results than when I try to micro-manage them. I'll be in class with Pat & Todd Sunday, so I'm looking forward to some tips on letting the plotting take over. Goodness knows I need a break. Tks.

alexclermont said...

I actually still don't feel comfortable when writing without an aim. I've tried it and just feel lost. I have to admit, though, that a few times when I've written a few stream-of-conscious sentences they've turned into something wonderful.

Glad to hear you are able to let it go in that direction or not, if that's what happens.

alexclermont said...

I actually still don't feel comfortable when writing without an aim. I've tried it and just feel lost. I have to admit, though, that a few times when I've written a few stream-of-conscious sentences they've turned into something wonderful.

Glad to hear you are able to let it go in that direction or not, if that's what happens.

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