To paraphrase Paul Simon, “Words, words, words, see what’s become of me, while I look around for my possibilities”.
Why play with words? Why write?
Words—thoughts in the head, spoken, written— when strung together become a living entity. They color our world, forge relationships, tear down and mend connections. They help us interpret our world.
Why write? Why engage words in an intentional way?
For clarity: Writing down the words circling around in our head shines a light on them and shows them in a different way. You don’t have to keep an elaborate journal. However, if there is something gnawing at you; if there is something that is not clear; if there is a decision to be made, try writing it down. Sometimes the simple act of assembling the thoughts and transferring them to the page is all we need for things to become clear.
To integrate knowledge: When we want to learn something writing it down or writing about it can make a big impact on our learning process. Once again the process of pulling together the bits and pieces fuses them into an intelligible whole. The words and concepts will begin to make sense.
To impart knowledge: Often we need to explain what we know through the written word. Here the ability to toss the words down first and then go back and organize them goes a long way in helping us put together a cohesive piece. It is in the tossing and organizing—allowing for a crappy first draft—that we see the bigger picture come together and our readers receive the biggest benefit.
For fun, self-discovery, for pure enjoyment of the creative process, because the words are there. To write for fun, without being wedded to a particular outcome, is a joyful, creative act. To allow story to flow from unplumbed sources is magic. Allowing the pen to take us where it will is an excursion into imagination and bliss.
“Everyone is a writer. You are a writer. All over the world, in every culture, human beings have carved into stone, written on parchment, birch bark, or scraps of paper and sealed into letters—their words. Those who do not write stories and poems on solid surfaces tell them, sing them and, in so doing, write them on the air.”
So begins Pat Schneider in her book, Writing Alone and With Others.
How beautiful is this? And we have the capacity to do it! We have the capacity for gorgeous words and sparkling story. They are all already inside of us. They just need to be teased out, to be set free in our particular style and language. It’s freedom on the page or “on the air”.
Come relax into your words at a mini retreat for writers. Yes, that includes you! The Joy of Writing meets from 3-4:30 PM ET 4 Mondays starting March 27th. We gather on Zoom, a free video conference app. See what you can do when you cut loose and approach words with curiosity and wonder. Prepare to be amazed!
For more information and to register click here.
Kathy Kane blogs about the creative process in the everyday, in writing and in the magical transition to the second half of life.
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