Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The art of writing

"Writing is my real art," I've been know to tell people, "It's where I am the flaky artist."

Weaving, spinning, shepherding, those are what I do. I do them daily, I do them naturally. I don't think of them as an art, they are what I do, I do them beautifully, and I do them well.

Ah, but writing. There I suffer the angst of the artist. I struggle to find the right words and to string them together into sentences that share the visions and emotions of my heart. I write passionately for a time and then I swear I will never write another word. I get headaches from writing as I feel I'm trying to physically drag the words out of my head. My head gets congested from trying to make the words flow. Some days I swear I can't write my way out of a paper bag.

When I was learning to spin, I asked Sarah Natani how to become better. "Do it every day," she told me. It became a sort of mantra for me. Sometimes what I spun looked more like a potato peel than thread, but I kept at it. I finally got good at spinning, not only when I did it every day, but when I demonstrated spinning every day for a whole summer. At some point, I quit thinking about it, quit stressing over the art and trying to make it be something. At some point, it just became something that I do, and I did it well.

So now, I want to become good at writing. I want to move my writing from the "art" catagory, where I have to worry about muses and inspiration and temperament and the weather - and put writing in the "craft" category, where it is just something that I do, and I do it well.

To that end, I am bringing out my old directive - "Do it every day." I'm going to write here, publicly, kinda like demonstrating spinning. Feel free to comment on things you like, constructive criticism is always welcome. And if what I've written doesn't make any more sense than an potato peeling, well, I'm still writing every day.

No comments: