How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Henry David Thoreau
thanks to all who stopped by yesterday to read and comment on my part of the blog tour for Eric Maisel’s book the Van Gogh Blues. In about 10 days I will be posting a list of the other wonderfully creative blogs and websites who participated in the blog tour with me. As Eric’s tagline reads “successfully manage the anxieties of the creative process”. If you’re lucky enough to have never experienced anxiety throughout the process maybe the book isn’t for you but for me it has helped tremendously.
When I was thirteen I remember vividly a conversation I had with my father, I had just written a poem, (something with a lot of teenage angst I’m sure) and I told my father when he found it that I wanted to be a writer, his words were you have to do a lot of living to be a writer you have to go out there and travel and do things…experience life I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t remember this conversation but those words stuck with me. In wasn’t until I was in my twenties and read Flannery O’Connor’s words
“Anybody who has survived
his childhood has enough
information about life to
last him the rest of his days.”
that I thought differently.
I think to be a writer of course you need to live your life but does it really matter if you’re well traveled or experienced? Are you observant, introspective, in love with words, language, are you a reader? Can you bring readers into your fictional world and make them want to stay? Do you find people and characters fascinating? Do you look at details? Are you a people watcher? Have you survived your childhood?
I’m curious what are your thoughts on this? Today spend about thirty minutes as part of your daily writing and list as many life experiences that you can think of that you could work into an essay, a poem or a short story. Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag