Sunday Style: Writing as a Process

1159418_key_x_from_vintage_typewriterLately most, if not all, of my writing time has been focused on submission guidelines and target markets. I’m happy about this — it’s good to be writing and submitting my words. I like the productivity and the sense of accomplishment that comes from getting my words out beyond myself.

But earlier this week I was reminded that it’s not all about the end goal. I came across a quote from the theologian and prolific writer, Henri Nouwen, that my friend Cathy Jo shared with me a few months ago. What Nouwen said reminded me of the value in the process of writing:

Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals to us what is alive in us…it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware.

Last week I started revising and polishing an article and I’m learning from that. I’m in the process of considering a few ideas in my head which is opening me up to new spaces within myself.

And, yes, overall, I know that the process of writing helps me discover what lives in me. I see this most clearly when I consider the ten years that I stopped writing and compare them to the recent years in which I began to write again.  This week I haven’t written much – maybe just this post – and I have to admit I’ve felt a little bit “off”. It’s a good lesson and reminder. Indeed,the writing and all it contains gives me a different sense of being alive.

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3 Responses to Sunday Style: Writing as a Process

  1. Stephanie says:

    Nicely said, Liz. I love the way true writing opens me up. And recently, like you, I’ve gotten off of the writing track (my tangent was blogging and surfing other blogs for inspiration.) I was just telling my husband that it is the mental equivalent of eating junk food all week! I would be feeling so much better if only I had eaten my fruits and vegetables (i.e. writing!!) 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Saffia Farr says:

    This is interesting. For me, writing is huge therapy. Working through a thought process and condensing it into words really helps me clarify my thoughts and emotions.

    I am an aspiring writer (and avid journal writer). I found your blog through the interview with Suzanne Kamata as I was fortunate enough to have a chapter included in Call Me Okaasan. I have visited a few times to read what you have to say and mentioned your blog on my blog!

    Happy therapeutic writing.

    Saffia

  3. Jesaka Long says:

    Lovely post, Liz! I love this and really relate to it. Since focusing more on creative non-fiction and culling my writing from more personal experiences, I’ve found that I open up more to the people in my life. It’s opened up this slightly stereotypical “secretive Scorpio.” 🙂

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