Why write our stories? Why not write them? That’s something each of us decides in her own way. In a writing circle this weekend, we shared what it means to write. It is threatening, one woman said, looking at our small gathering after an invitation to twenty or so women had been sent. It is too much exposure. Once it’s out there, it’s out there! And now it’s out there—a finished product—even though you’re still evolving.
But here's the thing: In a world spinning ever faster, we see the end of an era almost every day, splashed across the front pages of the newspaper and on the internet. We see our own lives passing in the rearview mirror of time with alarming speed. It's now or never to write our story before the wrecking ball demolishes it. Time is wasting.
Writing, or any creative passion or pursuit, means sacrificing something else to make time for this. Finding connection with like-minded human beings is a spiritual and creative pursuit, but no one can make you do it unless you feel called. You can shrug and say why bother, say it is no one’s business but my own, I made my peace with it...whatever it is. If that works, then so be it. I see that a lot.
I would start my own writing group as a way to connect and make this business of writing a little less isolating. In a world that has become increasingly dehumanizing, isolation has intensified. We are prisoners of technology, prisoners of our own lack of focus, lack of commitment to something meaningful...lack of community. We can stand back and watch or we can take an active role in making this world a little better.
In our writing circle we talked about morning pages, journaling, even if five or ten minutes a day and after a week realizing there is something there...something to work with. One woman suggested that maybe if we start slow...think small rather than trying to grapple with the entirety of a story and all the emotions it evokes all at once, we have a path forward.
- Give yourself positive messages.
- Keep a list of what you want to write.
- Express yourself with an uncensored pen for your eyes only.
- Relish in the joy of exploration.
- Take a walk and think about writing.
I’ve been doing that with my new memoir: topics range from travel to religion, to sexual assault and aging, to being alone and reinvention.
In the Circle, we rediscover conversation and community. Our stories are varied and rich. We support and encourage each other. We hear a human voice responding to the expression of being human. There have been many circles, many workshops that have melded into one and this truism remains—we long to tell stories before they are lost forever. Together we make a difference.
"Writing isn't about destination—writing is the journey that transforms the soul and gives meaning to all else." — Sue Grafton