Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Disease of Writing

"Against the disease of writing one must make special precautions, since it is a dangerous and contagious diesase." Peter Abelard, 1079-1142

I found this quote the other day and just had to save it. For me, writing is an obsession. No matter how often I get discouraged, I still come back to it. I love the "rush" that happens when the words just flow, the way time seems to stand still and everything around me disappears. Everything except the story.

I even like the hard times. Those rejection letters without comments cause me to study my writing and improve my craft. The days when words come hard give me reason to consider the direction I'm trying to go and decide if it really is "right" for the story.

I like the many things that go along with the life of a writer too. The 3 a.m. visits from the plot bunny, the "ah ha" moment in the middle of shampooing my hair, or how that problem scene just seems to come together about the time I hit 75 mph driving down the highway and I have to pull over and make a note.

I like brainstorming ideas with writing buddies. I like just chatting with other writers, knowing they know how it feels to get that form rejection or what's it's like when the words don't want to be put on paper.

One of my favorite writer things to do is just listen to more experienced writers. When I was growing up, my grandmother had a stitched picture of an owl sitting on a limb. The poem under said..."The wise old owl was a wise old bird. The more he heard, the less he spoke. The less he spoke, the more he heard. The wise old owl was a wise old bird."

For some reason, that has stuck with me over the years. And you know's true. It's amazing the things you can learn just by listening. One of these days, I want to be the one new writers are listening to and learning from. So, today I study, I listen to wiser folks and do my best to apply the knowledge.

For me, writing is definitely a disease. It has consumed me. Heart and soul. There is no cure...I've got it bad. And today, I don't mind at all:-)



Lorib said...

A disease...Eureka! I knew it had to be a syndrome or something!

Good article :)


Cheryl said...

Wonderful as always, Speck. I know you will be one of those authors new writers listen to one day.

As for me, if I stopped yapping my lips long enough, I might learn something. Maybe I need to visit the owl and take some lessons.

Thanks for the advice.


Anonymous said...

How I envy you.

My writing disease is simply dis-ease! Unlike you, I cannot feel all those wonderful reasons that fuel the desire. Today I am simply sick.

But I will hold on to your words, will keep in mind your experiences and pray for a similar revival.

Thank you.