Insecurity in Writing

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

I’ve often heard the expression, “I’m not ready to write.” We all feel insecure when we’re not sure what “it” is.

Sometimes the material we’ve written comes from the imagination, memory, dreams, and who knows where. Sometimes it’s elusive and genre-bending. What on earth should we do with it in the bright light of day to “make it better”? To ensure it’s a “real piece”?

To nurture our creativity, we all need supportive spaces. We need to do our best, but not pressure for more and more. We should renew our inner resources to overcome obstacles and difficulties.

Especially in these difficult times with wars and pandemic, we need to remind ourselves of the beauty that exists. We need the support of our fellow artists.

I remember seeing on television a cello player performing amidst the rubble of bombed out buildings after an attack by the Russian army on his Ukrainian village. When interviewed, he said, “We’ll rebuild.” His message was one of hope through creativity. It’s an antidote for despair. What do you do to nature your creativity?

I’ll be blogging on Thursdays. Follow me on WordPress at https://www.eileenpkennedy.com.

Thank You to Vita Brevis Press for Publishing Two of My Poems

I am grateful to Vita Brevis Press for publishing my poems:

3 a.m.

Respiratory

in What is All This Sweet Work?: A Poetry Anthology About Love and Loss (2022). Take a look.

Reading Deprivation

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For writers, reading is a way of life. We read early and often. We read, we write. We check our media contacts, read newspapers or magazines online or in hard copy, then read a text of something similar to what we are working on in our own writing. If we stop reading, it’s deprivation.

It’s a paradox that by emptying our lives of all that text and distraction, we are actually refreshing the wellspring. By absenting ourselves from all the media, we get in touch with our inner selves, which is where all the creativity comes from. By keeping the inflow to a minimum, the outflow improves. Our true thoughts and feelings will begin to penetrate and come out in new writing, running freely. I knew a playwright who would take off his shoes and socks and stand in a running stream with a paper and pencil to literally get his flow going.

If you find not reading difficult, and many writers do, here are some suggestions:

.listen to music that has no words

.sew

.repot plants

.cook a complicated, time-consuming recipe and then

.invite friends to dinner

.watercolor

.rearrange the kitchen

.exercise

.meditate

.dance

After a number of these activities, sit down and write again. Notice any differences in your feelings or content. Your writing may benefit.

Follow me here on Thursdays.

Failure Is Part of the Creative Process

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Trying out new things is part of the creative process. Things can change at any stage in a painting’s or manuscript’s development. 

The writing process is an exciting and adventurous process. It sometimes feels electrifying and at other times, downright discouraging.  A writer needs to go in knowing that it might not work.   It means that results don’t matter as much as the process, the joy and the journey.

I try to keep this in mind every time I sit down at a blank page. An athlete has to work out to get to a point where she wins the competition. A writer sometimes has to fail many times before succeeding.

You may think that what you wrote is terrible, but it may work out later in a future draft, or help you get, through experimentation, to a wonderful manuscript. t’s part of the journey to that wonderful piece that finally works.

I’ll be blogging on Thursdays about the writing process. Follow me on WordPress at http://www.eileenpkennedy.com

Sometimes Failure Is Part of the Process

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Experimenting is part of the creative process. Things can change at any stage in a painting’s or manuscript’s development. 

The writing process is an exciting and adventurous process. It sometimes feels electrifying and at other times, downright discouraging.  A writer needs to go in knowing that it might not work.   It means that results don’t matter as much as the process, the joy and the journey.

I try to keep this in mind every time I sit down at a blank page. An athlete has to work out to get to a point where she wins the competition. A writer sometimes has to fail many times before succeeding. It’s part of the journey to that wonderful piece that finally works.

I’ll be blogging on Thursdays, and posting announcements, as they come, on Thursdays. Follow me on WordPress at http://www.eileenpkennedy.com

Writing the Landscape

One thing I love about winter in the Northeast is the snow. Now the snow is going, and it’s officially spring this week.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

I love the quiet, the writerlyness of the whole thing. But how does this affect my writing? I wrote a collection of poems about my partner who died of Alzheimer’s. We had spent a lot of time in Mexico, so this landscape came into my poems:

“When I think of Oaxaco

I remember the Zocolo

where they sold pipa del agua

and chocolate dripping from paper cups.”

The setting just naturally came into the poem. Does this happen with you?

Take look at my collection:

https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/touch-my-head-softly-by-eileen-kennedy/

I will continue to blog on Thursdays and do announcements, as they come in, on Tuesdays.

The Best Friend of the Writer

Photo by Barbara Olsen on Pexels.com

The best friend of the writer can be the writer her or himself. As writers, we crave praise, awards, good reviews, and the affirmation of the publisher, but if we remember the joy of the creative process, we don’t need the positive feedback of others.

As a poet, I work often alone and in solitude. Books tend to be published quietly also. There may be a book launch, but aside from that, people buy and read our books on their own. This doesn’t mean that our books don’t touch people or have a lasting effect. A writers, we know the books that have made that special impact on us and we have to trust that our writing will have an effect on our readers.

We entered into the art of writing for deeper reasons that passing attention and it’s best to get in touch with those internal reasons, rather than looking for external affirmations. That way, when the praise comes, it will be a pleasant reminder of our internal worth as writers, and we truly will be our own best friends.

I’ll be blogging on Thursdays and posting announcements on Tuesdays, as they come along.

The Writer’s Journey

They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.  I often think of the writing process when I hear that old adage.  Writing can seem laborious when we proofread, edit, revise.  These are the mundane parts of the process. The joy, for me, is in the creation, but that’s only one stage of the writing process.

So try to enjoy the journey, and not just the final, published product.  Writing groups can help as you can share your writing with others and self-edit along the way.  Writing is an isolating activity and a writing group can help with the isolation.  You can also get helpful hints from fellow writers.

Readings can help also.  Reading a work in progress can help to get feedback and it also helps to hear your work aloud.  Samuel Butler says “I feel weak places at once when I read aloud where I thought, as long as I read to myself only, that the passage was alright…” The act of reading, line for line, can help the writer focus in a way that just rereading again can’t.

Photo by George Pak on Pexels.com

I used many of these “journey steps” to complete my collection of poetry that published earlier this year. Check it out:

https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/touch-my-head-softly-by-eileen-kennedy/

I blog on Thursdays and do announcements on Tuesdays. Follow me.

Writing the Landscape II

Now I am in Costa Rica for a good part of the winter.

The landscape is very different from the Northeast where I live for the balance of the year.

I love the pre-Columbian art here. I’ve shown you an example of one piece. These vessels, figures, tools are dated before the Spanish conquest of Central and South America. These art pieces date back to then Mesoamerican period, around 10,000 BCE. They give clues to the lives of the indigenous.

For me the beauty of the landscape and the local art inspire me. I may not be writing about beauty, or even Costa Rica, but the art gives me insight into the lives of the people, just as my stories aspire to give insight.

I recently published a book of poems about my partner who died of Alzheimer’s Disease. I hope this gives insight to others in contact with people with this disease. Also part of the proceeds of the sale of the book will go to the Alzheimer’s Association to help find a cure for this dread disease. Check out my book:

https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/touch-my-head-softly-by-eileen-kennedy/