Compulsive Writers and Readers

Soul Vision

Soul Vision

Digging through some cupboards this morning, packing my bag for the day.
No room in the small space, shoved a box of Glutino crackers on its side into the shelf.

Noted some simple writing on the bottom.

“Compulsive writers appreciate compulsive readers.”

The joy of blogging world on the bottom of a Glutino box.

You could probably split the world into those who compulsively read and those who do not. Personally, I have never held complete trust in those who don’t like to read. There is always something questionable about these types in my mind.

I will read anything and everything at any time. I have been known to bring my Kindle into the theater during children’s movies. I found the experience to be less painful that way.

Here’s to all who compulsively write and read. I like think we make the world a better place.

And also a shout out to Glutino and the “Universe” for finding the most creative ways to get us the messages we need.

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Ahh…Resolution Bliss and the Post-Orgasmic sense of Blogging

The Pleasure of Penetration

The Pleasure of Penetration

Sometimes I look at those who blog and wonder why we choose to write what we do. I was reading Madeline Scribe blog today about her choices as a writer and it got me thinking.

Today, I shot out a random blog on stepparenting. And I have to say, after I wrote and published it, I felt, for whatever reason, a sense of bliss.

After hitting “Publish”, I walked to grab some coffee and all I could think was “I feel so much more calm. This is like the post-orgasm glow, only rather than sex, this was induced by the written word.”

This bliss after orgasm in the literal, physical sense is often accompanied by resolution- a sense of satiation and completeness before the next wave of arousal ensues, and that is how I felt.

And I wonder how many others feel this way blogging ( I hope most are getting the analogy I am getting at here- it would be a bit too much TMI- for those bloggers in which blogging induces a physical orgasm 🙂 but, hey, then again, if that works for you- more power to you!). I wonder if others feel a sense of completion and resolution after hitting “Publish”.

Anyway, we all have different topics we blog about. Some blogs are self-help, some are information, some stick to a specific topic, some do not. I like Madeline’s blog today because she addresses what many confront- people telling us what to blog about.

When I hear such input, I tend to think “Really?”, especially if it comes from non-bloggers. They can’t get up the energy enough (pun clearly intended) to write themselves, but they feel oh so free to direct others.

So in some ways, I hope most bloggers are like me- riding that orgasmic wave of excitement, plateau, creation, publishing, and resolution. Happy writing!

Holding the Silence: The Choice of Every Artist and Blogger

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As an artist and/or blogger, sometimes the silence grabs and holds you. You lose your voice. You can not recall what you want to say, and even if you recall the topic, you can’t remember what you want to say about it.

The artistic silence may permeate all forms of art, including the visual. You pick up pencil, pastel, and/or brush and hear nothing.
Even worse, you feel nothing.

The edges of an image tease you, but they refuse to coalesce.

So you wait. You wait for the silence to give up its hold on you and reveal its secrets.

Yet, each form contains its opposite and at other times, it is you who hold the silence, while the silence acquiesces to you.

The images and thoughts are complete. You hear them in your mind, you envision them before you, yet you do not speak in verbal or visual form.

The art is alive and well within you, yet you keep silent in the outer world of creation. You – the artist, the writer, the blogger – are holding the silence of creation within you.

You have come to the realization of the yin-yang of the artistic process. You have moved far enough along, that to create is no longer simply a compulsion, driven be “I must get this out there.”, but rather it is a decision.

You decide- what to release to the world and what to hold in the silence within.

You sit in the silence of your own artistic expression and understand, for once, it truly is all part of the same process.

Why on Some Days I love the Words I Write more than I love some of the people in My Life

Kim and Her Words Sitting in a Tree....

Kim and Her Words Sitting in a Tree….

Days exist in which I love the words I write. I, at times, love these words more than some of the people in my life. This is why…

The words I write have never spoken harshly to me.
Likewise the words I write have never once ignored me.

They have never insulted, demeaned, or chastised me.

My written words have, on occasion, revealed needed insights.
These words have also cajoled, pushed, prodded and cheered me to new
ways of thinking.

My words have never hidden the truth, nor have they shredded me
for daring to tell it.

My written words believe I have the right to exist.
They stake their claim to this simple idea.

My words will battle for me, the truth, and what is right.

These words place me first and refuse to let me hide.

My words weave a sense of safety for me- a literary hug,
and I am better for it.

And for all those people who refuse to do the same for me as my words, I really
must question-
Why are you in my life?

Well, There goes the Vocabulary… (Why you may not be able to find the words)

Kim's Coat of Arms (if she had one)

Kim’s Coat of Arms (if she had one)

Keep writing. Keep thinking. Keep growing. The words will come. Let them appear on your pallet, even those you feel are “unworthy”. There are only 3 primary colors and yet we end up with a breath-taking spectrum. Even the most simple, basic words can lend themselves to a world of beauty

The blank page is a writer’s pallet. It becomes the place to mix, match and manipulate the colors of writing- the chosen words.

The “right” word for an author has an almost tangible feel to it. It symbolically rolls through the fingertips and rolls off the tongue and mind. Even readers detect when the choice of words are particularly apt. We tend to label this as being “poetic” whether or not the writing appeared in anything even resembling a poem.

But what happens when the words you so seek can not be found?

This happening is not uncommon, but there are times, I believe, in which a very specific reason may exist for you being unable to find the correct words.

I have always liked the image of the chakra system. Chakras are 7 primary energy centers (there are more) in the body, beginning in the pelvic area and ending on the top of the head. Each chakra is associated with a certain energy dynamic.

I believe each chakra in addition to having its own energy also has its own vocabulary. And this is where word selection can fly out the window.

If one is dealing with the 7th chakra, spirituality, it is almost easy to write of the universal sense of love and light. Ditto for the fourth or heart chakra. When you are in that space, love, romance, compassion, rose-tinted glasses leap off the page.

What happens though when you are trying to write and create from a weakened chakra state. Lately, I have been reading many books about emotional abuse. Abuse in any form is a first chakra issue. When you see yourself on the page of a book dealing with emotional abuse, you are knocked for a loop. You begin to feel you do not know or trust your life (first chakra issue).

And this is what can happen, when you try to create from a place of injury or distortion, you will not be able to find the vocabulary to say what you mean.

For example, the first chakra is centered on such basic issues, I find when I think of writing or speaking about this, my vocabulary becomes very basic and black and white. Things are right or they are wrong. I mention the word “fight” a lot, as in “I am fighting for my emotional survival.” The issue of survival creeps onto the page. Things appear with very sharp borders- I can vs. I can not. I will not vs. I will. There are few gray areas and little subtlety in the first chakra. It is either survive or die trying, symbolically.

So I will look at myself and my journal during these times and think “This is horrible. I can’t even express myself clearly.” Of course, I can not. The issues are base in nature and my vocabulary reflects this.

In fact, when one is dealing with abuse and first chakra issues, we need blunt, un-nuanced words. It is very dangerous in such a situation to be taking flights of fancy into the 7th chakra of “Isn’t everything just love and light?”.

It is not only on the written page that this loss of vocabulary may occur. When one is struggling with issues, coming to a new awareness, and trying to express new feelings and thoughts, it can be very, very easy to end up being judged. People will say, “Well, you are not making sense.” or “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

If this happens with verbal or written communication, do not give it a second thought. Do not judge yourself. You are creating a new life and sometimes it takes a little time for a new vocabulary to emerge. So, you may stutter. You may speak or write and say, “Well, that is not exactly what I mean, but I hope you understand what I am saying.”

You may even read your own blog, as I am doing today, and think “Ugh. I am not even sure if I am making sense but I don’t know what else to do.”

You may want to repeat yourself again and again, as you try out new combinations. You may want to have the “same” conversation several times- trying out new words and thoughts.

This is perfectly o.k.! Creating art and writing are continual processes, not puctuated moments.

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Don’t Understand Me?….Then, You are not Paying Attention to My Art and Writing

Supported in the Womb

Supported in the Womb

I am always surprised, and then a bit mistrusting, when people say they love me and know me well, yet do not relate in anyway to my art.

I am not saying everyone has to “get” my art, or even like my art. What I am talking about is that some people in my life are completely blind to the fact I have an artistic nature and creating art and writing are very important to me.

In fact, I would argue that to know me in a significant way, all one would have to do is look to my art.

I do not mean that every person I know needs to read my blog and oooh…and…ahhhhh….over every picture and sketch as if they were that enchanting.

What I am talking about is the almost willful ignorance on the part of some “close” people in my life in regards to this aspect of me.
I don’t think it is as simple as them not liking my art or writing.

My art and writing is where I bare my soul, and I think some people would rather not see my soul.
They like the superficial, persona-induced version of me.

Art can be messy, confrontational, and raw. I think they prefer me in a prettier package.

Maybe this has happened to you. Perhaps there has been a subtle hint or two along the lines of “Oh, are you going to write about that?” “Wow, that picture is a little weird. What did you mean by that?”

Or sometimes it is hidden as concern. Upon seeing your art or blog some may say, “I am worried about you” which often times is simply code for “Your work disturbs my status quo.”

Anyway, art always reveals the soul and because our souls are on display they deserve respect- or at the very least, acknowledgment. It is a brave soul who is willing to emerge from hiding and manifest in they physical world and we do this all the time as artists and creative people.

When Your Art/Writing/Blogging Wants to go all “Humpty Dumpty” on You

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Art is a great teller of secrets. It can’t help itself. It’s compulsive that way. Patient, but compulsive. It will wait- years if needed- before slipping in an idea or two- the secrets you would rather not tell.

I read a book by Anne Lamott and she spoke about a writing class she was teaching. She told her students to write whatever came to them- even if their family or others would not like it.

She wrote that she remembered at least two instances in which students wrote about being made to choose their own switches to be struck with by a parent as punishment. Hmm….not the image most families would prefer be portrayed- most would prefer the stylized, contrived family portrait hanging over the mantle to the true stories.

And most likely not the topic these authors upon signing up for the class imagined they would feel internally called to write about.

But that is the thing about creativity. Its nails scratch at the door, refusing to go away until you let it in.

Lately, I have been feeling this sense. When the opaque stone is removed from the eye, everything is seen more clearly. Art, creativity, and blogging tend to dislodge the stone- but then you are confronted with the sense – if I even move one stone slightly, what if they all come toppling down upon me?

We are afraid sometimes that in writing our truth, we are playing with Humpty Dumpty. Things will fall, parts will shatter, and no one or no thing is putting Humpty or our lives back together again in quite the same way.

I have admired those bloggers who can write with cutting honesty- the kind of honesty that dislodges the opaque stone and pushes the fragile Humpty’s in their lives over the edge.

I don’t know what I will do next creatively, but I do know this- when something presses upon you creatively, you can not suppress it completely. You can choose how you want to manage it – maybe a private journal vs. a blog or a small sketch vs. a large piece of work or you may want to put it all out there. Whatever the choice, art and creativity demand the truth.

And if we leave the truth behind and hide from it, I believe our art and creativity leave us behind. Art requires honesty and in exchange for our honesty, art gives us resonance and truth.

How Your Blog May Heal You

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I write, at times, to heal. The words chosen for and by me must serve a dual purpose. They must both cut and close.

I am the surgeon requiring good flesh with which to work. I can be ruthless in my culling, slicing symbolic flesh to reveal what lies beneath the scars.

Words probing for the healthy tissue underneath. The vocabulary laid before me-startling-although I create and choose it.

The words become stitches, staccato-ing across the page, pulling the exposed flesh tighter- giving me a chance to renew the tissue once abused, closing wounds long ago forgotten or ignored.

The linking of the words becomes a trail of sutures. If you could feel the page, you would feel the bump-bump-bump of word/stitches, one after another, in orderly fashion, linked for divine purpose.

Doing what words of healing do- tightening the once vulnerable places into wholeness.

Your Blog Reveals You to You

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I carry on frequent conversations with the most honest of audiences- my blog and other writings.
These entities are firm, uncompromising, but never harsh.
Between the solid scaffolding of the word-lines that I create lies a soft underbelly of love.

As I stare at the page, the words-lines seem to breathe with life. My self so entangled in these lines that we adapt to one another’s respiratory rate. The words and breath become one, as is true of all writing and reading.

And in the matching motions, of breath, of life, the word-lines separate and reveal all that is me, as I read between the lines.

When You Run Out of Blog Topics

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Lately, I have told myself the lie that I have presently run out of blog topics. The lie is that no such lack of topics exists. I tell myself this lie so I don’t have to tell myself where the real shortage lay- my self-honesty.

Not everything is meant for a public blog posting. However, we only cut into our own creativity when we deny those most pressing items because we want to keep them hidden. We tell ourselves it is easier this way. In the meantime, our creativity devolves until it is similar to chasing the erratic patterns of butterflies while striking one’s self overhead with a mallet.

What we want to capture flees before us, while we ignore the pounding of our soul.

Every creative act requires heart, mind, and soul. The mind you can fool, the heart you can deceive, the soul is not so easy to dismiss- it holds the heart strings of creativity.

A prayer for the artist within each of us:

With peace, gentleness and compassion may I open myself to release even the smallest hint of that which I would rather hide and hold inside. And may I withhold my judgment so I do not shatter the most precious piece of me that will one day reveal my greatest deed- love of the self to be passed on to others in my creativity.

If you ever feel you are at an impasse with blogging topics look inside. There you may find exactly what you need in what is trying to hide.