Thursday, September 17, 2009

Because I like to play

No, it's not my son. But I am a mother and I bet his mother asked him why. Only it probably sounded more like, "What the hell were you thinking?"
I don't ask this question anymore. Because I already know the answer. They weren't thinking. Nup. No thought. Child sees mud. Mud sees child. Mud climbs all over child. Child climbs all over your favorite cream colored chairs. Or something like that. 

But remember when you were so free that you never even thought about having to think through something? When mud and trees were inviting, no, begging you on bended knee to come and... oh wait... maybe that's just me.

Maybe what I am trying to say is that sometimes we forget how wide and blue the sky is from the top of a branch or what it feels like to squish wet sludge through your hands. 
For me writing is like climbing that tree. Like flying. And when it gets to feeling like my feet are too firmly on the ground, I grab some words and squish them through my fingers, just to see what will happen, just to remember what it feels like.  I close my eyes and ride that bike down the hill with no hands on the handle bars. I let go, clear my heart and let the wind speed by me. 

I. Do. Not. Think.

"Writing is magic, as much as the water of life of any other creative art. The water is free. So drink... drink and be filled." Stephen King in his book On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft.

In short...

I collect rocks because I like how they feel, I let the watermelon drip down my chin, I blow bubbles with straws and then I go write... anything, whatever I have inside me. Because something happens to my writing when I set me free.  This is art, not just punctuation marks and sentence structure. It's not all about the writing if I haven't scrapped my knee climbing trees or squished mud through my hands in quite some time. 

I play first. Then ask why later. Much later... I think they call that editing. Why is a good question and it should have an answer. Books should matter, even if it is just to the writer. They should be about something. But maybe not to start with. Maybe at first, they are just good fun?
But that's just me...

What about you? Play first? Stack the building blocks and crash em? Stomp in that mud? How do you approach your writing? What do you do when you get stuck?


  1. I love that photo :D It reminds me of everything that's so precious about little boys.

    Writing is such fun, such joy. It's the hardest thing to leave alone because it's more fun than any video game or television program. After all, if you're writing what you'd most like to read then there's not likely to be anything that can entertain you any better.

    That's why I love to write, it's the purest joy there is.

  2. I love your new blog design. :)

    This is the second time recently that you have said something about squishing words through your fingers. :D Your joyful blog posts inspire me so much. Thank you.

  3. Thanks Wendy :)Stephen King said something like 'I am not just the book's creator, but also its first reader.' I think he'd agree with your statement. I am sure liking the King at the moment :)

    Tira, really? I didn't realize I like squishing those words so much :) LOL I will have to find a new verb:) thanks for visiting and for your comment. This one made me smile. I am so glad I inspire you :)) That made me smile even more. I am in a very smiley mood tonight... maybe that's also cause I am here when I should be editing... oh well.

  4. Off topic, I know...but you reminded me of a time more than sixteen years ago that my husband and I were childless and our house was immaculate. His brother who lives next door had two children, and observing our neatness said: "I can't wait until you have kids."

    I too loved the picture of the mud squishing through your fingers.

  5. I just throw it all down. So I see mud and roll in it!!!!

    I edit later although I have great problems going back over my work once I have written completely (or nearly) freely. This was a problem when writing professionally although we had a good editor!

    Great pic!

  6. We have a sandbox in the backyard that I HATE because the kids are always sandy, but I love it at the same time because it's such a creative space for them to play.

    I am a messy writer. On the first draft there are gaping plot holes, 'Was' in excess, and stinky dialogue. That's probably why it takes me so long to revise.

  7. Love the new design for the blog, Tabitha. And love this post. I'd forgotten for a time how much joy writing brings me--it began to feel like an obligation. Now that I've given myself a time out, the joy is coming back and paragraphs are flowing once more. Yippee!!

  8. Like the new look! I definitely play first and edit later. It's the only way I can do it. Of course the editing is a much longer process that way, but the playing part is oh so much fun!

  9. I like to play first. There's some light editing as I write, but the serious stuff comes later. That way it comes out, raw, and I can sift through and see what--if anything--is priceless treasure.

  10. I think I might be the third Wendy to drop by today, but I am all about the climbing trees!

    I loved this post and it nailed so much of how I feel about the writing process.
    ~ Wendy

  11. Wendy #3- you can never have enough wonderful Wendy's dropping by, so thank you:)

    Kristen, mmm, I like the way you put that.

    Lazy Writer, thank you. I love the new look too :) Jayna is very talented and pimped my blog nicely :)

    Karen, so glad to hear you have ideas flowing again:)

    Liza, how true :)

  12. I have trouble turning the inner editor off when I'm writing. I sometimes have to tie that bugger up in the corner and gag him so he stops stomping on my creative energy.

    Love the new blog design btw!

  13. Wow, that little boy looks just like my nephew and the dog resembles my dog, except for those HUGE ears. I like this post, I have to play first. It works out sometimes, and not others.

  14. Yeah, me too fiction groupie. I think I posted this cause I need to hear it. Gotta remember to play...

    Hi Elizabeth and welcome to the blog. Thank you for the following :) Cute nephew and dog then :)

  15. I love how you put it - kids don't see mud, mud sees kids!