Writing is a lot like unpacking a suitcase after vacation.
A few wrinkled bits here. Maybe a half used bottle of this or that.
Smells of some place you ate stained into your clothing and maybe a souvenir or two.
Then begins the process of putting things back where they belong, and tossing what you don’t need anymore.
I don’t know why this part is so hard for me. Perhaps there’s some rebellion involved.
As with cooking, writing has the ability to create and clear chaos in my brain.
Before service, you want all your pieces in order. The fancy term is mise en place.
I’ve used that phrase here several times.
Gathering and preparing your ‘meez’ — that is cooking for the most part. Preparing yourself mentally and physically for what the night might throw at you. To be honest, you can never be prepared for everything, but you can sure as hell get close.
Preparation. I start to get that itch. That something is coming.
I have this idea in my head and I suppose most people call them writing prompts. They lead to one thought after another.
In the same way I prepare a dish, I am thinking of the next prompt. To be honest, cooking is mostly about prompts. There is a process, where one tiny thing is added to create one bigger thing. The parallel could go on for days, but I will choose to stop there.
When I get to write, I get to prepare myself for something. I get to lay something down, examine it, put it away or give it away. When you write for the public, you are giving. I would say most people write for themselves. I think when you write for yourself, you’re being honest and people will know. Giving this away is hard sometimes. When I publish, there’s a big part of me that hopes it will go under the radar.
All of this has become such second nature to me, that I often forget people read. And when confronted, I am surprised and get shy and shrug a bit.
I could say the same for my other love.
I am so humbled when I get a response. Any response, I am usually bracing myself for impact. But as always, I love the good ones, and take seriously the bad. Or, “constructive”.
That’s the best thing about voice.
It’s so powerful and it’s so yours!
It is your wonderful and unique story and it’s how you tell it. Some people won’t respond, but the ones who do, you will know there is some soul sharing involved.
Sort of like when I read Anne Lamott, I have an odd fantasy of being around her the last days of my life. Making me laugh and cry and cuss in the same ten minutes. I like those people. Not that I know her, but I love that she makes me feel that way– connected deeply to her story. If anyone has brought me screaming and kicking back to God and my own spirituality, I would most likely thank her for doing the dragging. She’s a writer who helps me connect deeply to my own story.
It’s all just a process.
Creating. Failing. Celebrating.
All over again.
indulging in this sweet sorrowful beautiful magical resilient thing,
we call life.