In a recent convergence of coincidence, I was told by a respected mentor that I should revive my neglected blog, right after accepting a “30 day blogging challenge”. I thought my first post in a while should reflect on my feelings about writing and the importance of its role in a creative practice.
I never actually gave up on writing– but I did stop writing for the public. While I did not stockpile reams of publishable materials, I did file away many ideas and outlines for work that can be expanded on. I have been a writer since the first journal I started at age 8, and was an avid letter-writer until people stopped writing back! I do lament the email and phone call as substitutes for a good long letter, and still love it when I get a real handwritten message.
The importance of writing by hand is now widely known, although I always suspected there was a stronger connection to the words written in longhand. If you can spend a few minutes a day scrawling out some thoughts, I highly recommend that exercise. In writing this, I am using the computer, and I will probably do that for more than half the writing I produce. But my initial brainstorms always start out scribbled in journals and the margins of sketchbooks.
I do believe the unpublished and unread words we write are not, like the proverbial tree falling in the forest, rendered silent by remaining secret. A conversation with oneself is sometimes more rewarding than with others (as proven daily by pointless online arguments.) A peaceful, private discourse with one’s own thoughts can be the beginning of a bigger conversation, or provide a welcome moment of clarity. Take some time to be alone with your thoughts. Give them some space on a page, a few minutes of your time, and see what develops in your creative life.