about the process

About Writing

I will start with my experience...I barely remember a time I didn't keep a journal, jot individual words which felt delicious on the tongue, enjoy the alchemy of mixing this word with that, choosing that sound over this. I have used a broader lens over recent years and increasingly see the product as one shiny piece amongst the whole process. 
 

The art form of writing is a playful companion. Consider the myriad of ways we can use it: poetry, dialogue, traditional tale, text message, letter, caption...Each involves an exploration and a building; what is that like, there? Does this first letter have more of an impact than that? By adding a colour to my sentence how do I take my thought onwards? 

"Somewhere, right at the bottom of one’s own being, one generally does know where one should go and what one should do. But there are times when the clown we call “I” behaves in such a distracting fashion that the inner voice cannot make its presence felt.” (Carl Jung)

What a fascinating statement, and one in which I recognise many truths about the writing process.


Firstly I note the given of our selves being comprised of many layers,  layers which are built through experience; noticing what is in our lives, interacting with others, creating understandings, the experiences of learning about our identities and those ideas being embedded in time, culture, family legends...All are open for consideration via writing.


Secondly I see mention of intuition. When we write we can often sense a truth arising; the process invites 'knowing' to have voice. We can be surprised by what is revealed, we can choose to re-view matters from different angles, at different times. Our bodies join in these explorations and we sense meaning in what we are writing out.


Next I see an acknowledgement of a need for reflection time. The 'I' we are so familiar with can lead us to stay in well-trodden viewpoints. I commonly advocate writing with speed, and it has been shown this can reduce the chance of our inner critic having time to make us cautious. We give ourselves space for the impact of a prompt to be felt. We begin writing. As we move through we may sense our bodies trying to enhance the process by giving us information, sensation. We 'finish'. But I would suggest there is more to be had: re-read the work, perhaps aloud. Finish the process off- for now- with a note of what you noticed.

In summary, I see writing as including

  • an opportunity to give intuition a voice,

  • a chance to practice a broader perspective,

  • an opportunity to stay open to the messages your mind and body offer you as you write, as you explore,

  • an ongoing opportunity to strengthen our ability to pay attention, and to celebrate our self.