Writing is my way into the word. It is connection. It connects me to what I think, feel, experience, believe, fear, want. Writing is who I am at the deepest level.
Writing is like breathing. That essential. That integral to my being.
Lately, even though I am showing up to write every day (I am well into my fourth year of this) I’ve lost the joy in writing. The playfulness. I often feel like I am merely showing up to page in order to make the “X” on my dry erase board. The accumulation of these marks has been immensely satisfying and motivating but I am afraid I am giving up something in the process of showing up. Giving up a depth of experience, giving up a certain lightness or playfulness.
Just as I was articulating these feelings, an ad for a workshop called “Fall in Love with Your Writing” appeared in my Facebook feed. (One of the few perks of their invasive algorithms). I didn’t know the writer but I loved the title. And it felt like a gift from the Universe so I wasn’t about to turn it away.
I joined 16 other writers for an afternoon of writing filled with laughter and tears, getting out of our comfort zones and just filling the page for the sake of filling the page.
I wasn’t trying to add an “X” to my board.
It wasn’t about finishing a scene or a chapter for my WIP.
It was about seducing my writing.
Seducing it back into my life, not out of obligation but out of desire.
Desire to play on the page.
Play with words.
Play with language.
Play with genre.
Desire to explore out of curiosity.
Desire to immerse my self in the process rather than focusing only on the end-product.
I once had an art teacher give me some advice. I had drawn a self-portrait in pencil that was all monotone. He told me to just get in there and create some depth and contrast and he didn’t even care if it turned into one big black hole of a mess. My stomach clenched at that. I couldn’t “ruin” it that way. Could I?
But his advice was perfect. He saw how tightly I clung to not wanting to make a mistake. How I wanted to do it “right” And how that kept me stuck and safe on the outside.
It was the first time I had been given permission to “fail.”
At the end of this afternoon workshop I once again had permission again to fail. To play. To not play it safe all the time. I felt I had loosened the incredibly tight reins I hold on myself to be productive.
And true to the title, I fell in love with my writing again.
(Huge, heartfelt thanks to Kristine E. Brickey for gathering us together and giving us the space to play and explore in a safe, supportive environment!)