The Desire ►Ultimately, a writer is searching for so much more than publication, more than recognition, even more than compensation. Deep within the writer’s soul is simply a desire to be heard. Above all else there is a longing for an audience of real, good listeners who will carefully read, sincerely ponder and willingly re-read the writer’s chosen words, patiently absorbing her intention. There are plenty of casual glancers who skim the obvious with generality and distraction. But, those willing to ponder; those truly interested; those with time enough to remain still, in reflective quietness, they are the ones who share in the sweet connection with the message and the heart of a writer.
The Therapy ►Clarifying thoughts, feelings and frustrations and being able to release them from the mind and heart onto paper is an empowering therapy. When there is no one to listen, the paper waits. There on the desk, with an inviting acceptance, it calls. Like a warm-hearted listener in a cozy chair with all the time in the world, it welcomes.
And there is nothing you can not reveal to it. The paper casts no judgment. It is not shocked, upset, intimidated or challenged by the writer’s honesty. One can fall-apart, break-down and go-to-pieces over it and it remains. Tear stained, scratched upon, even crumbled and angrily tossed, it braves the session, serving its purpose.
Its ultimate therapy is not just to bear confiding words but to reflect their heartfelt truth. When it is over and the writer recalls, rereads and relives the untangled openness, good or bad, right or wrong, pretty or not, the healing begins and the paper is treasured.
The Enticement ►To a writer, there is an alluring attraction, a curious fascination, a mysterious obsession from the enticement of a blank page. It will either afford consolation, inspiration, revelation, or desperation. Though its result is unpredictable, its seduction is irresistible.
The Consolation ►There is a mysterious illusion of being in control for the writer who escapes the struggles of life in order to retreat to some inviting, yet still empty, page of consolation.
The Sleeplessness ►Sometimes my pillow lends sleep. Other times it supports inspiration. Blanketed in a sea of pages, most of the night, writing, re-writing, lights on then off, then on again, chasing the nights escaping thoughts, tracking their intended purpose, harnessing their elusive meaning. Just when the night’s labor ends my other workday begins.
The Irony ►I’ve written, considered, examined, pondered, waited, prayed and wrestled. And though I’d like to believe I’m teachable, I think I’m right back where I started.
The Frustration ►There is equal frustration over a blank page for the writer needing a 1000 word minimum as it is over too many pages for the one limited to a 1000 word maximum.
The Game ►Sometimes the writing process begins without a sure direction. Thoughts, phrases, words and ideas are maneuvered around on blank screens and empty pages like random cards in a game of solitaire. The game progresses. The player continues, hoping the end will reveal order and victory. Writing, shuffling, scratching, placing, deleting, studying and
rewriting continue, until the win becomes apparent. The screen dances in sweet delight as the perfect words find just the right rhythm. The writer bathes in the victory, as though for the very first time. Such satisfaction brings enough contentment for the day. Tomorrow the ‘play again’ cards will shuffle in a new game, dealing, yet, another wondrous and mysterious hand.
The Title ►It has taken me a long time to think of myself as a ‘runner’ and not just ‘someone who runs.’ The same has been true with writing. I have been ‘someone who writes’ but not necessarily a ‘writer’. In preparation for the Writer’s Conference coming up I had business cards made. They arrived today. Seeing the word ‘writer’ under my name is just as exciting as seeing the word ‘marathoner’ on a race bib. Hard to believe yet no denying it.