Monday, February 1, 2010

To write or not to write, is that a question?



B.J. Anderson posed the question: Why do we write? And she turned it into a contest.
I have to say I'm just wired that way. For instance, I was walking on Venice Beach, shooting pictures, when I overheard the gulls chatting. My brain said:
the gulls erupted
in a chorus of laughter,
yelps and whistles
A little later, I noticed that when the tide rushing in met the tide flowing out, it created something new. I wrote in the tiny notebook that lives in my pocket:
The wrestling tide sent up a rooster tail of spray.
I love the sense of wonder I feel when my mind gives me new imagery or introduces me to some fascinating character who sweeps into my life and dogs my steps--even if it makes me loopy in public. How about you? Don't forget to visit B.J. to enter her cool contest.

34 comments:

Sarah said...

I write because I love that feeling, that rush you get when all you can think of are words. That feeling when you're doing something else (like, say, the wretchedness that is laundry) and you just *have* to leave it and go and write something down.
That's the part I love. That's why I write.

Oh, and by the way? Whatever the reason, I'm so glad you write! You have a way with words.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Okay, I want to live where you live. You have the best photographs. Oh to be surrounded by such scenery! Sometimes I feel desperate for the sea.

I write for a number of reasons, I guess, not the least of which is because I can (although, not always easily). But there's a longing that tugs--sometimes claws--at me to release my word thoughts. There's so much in there, just waiting, waiting...stories, people, desires, fantasies, scenery--dreams that sometimes seem not entirely mine. I don't know if I'm any good at it. I just don't. But sometimes, a longing exists regardless of sensibility or practicality or even sanity. And there are few greater sadnesses than longings unfulfilled, perhaps.

V. S said...

Your words always leave me wanting to write more and I thank you for that.

You have captured beauty in that photo.

Nisa said...

Beautiful. I agree with you. You're definitely hardwired to be a writer. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sarah: Yes, the rush. It is fantastic. And, 'by the way' back at ya, I'm so glad you write, too. I love reading your clever words.

Carolina: One of the great things about California is you can get to extraordinary scenery fairly quickly--from sea to mountains to deserts.
Whoa, you created such a picture of stuff clawing to get out. What an artwork that would be! And I think you are right that we would regret not doing it, no matter what.

Victoria: Wow, that's a wonderful thing to say. I feel honored if I inspire anyone. :)

Tamika: said...

You have a beautiful way with words.

I write because it fills my soul with peace. Whenever I hear the voice of God, I know that I have the assurance of God. He said write, and every since then my life has been overflowing!

Suzyhayze said...

Oh Yes! I tried to stop a few montsh ago... and was, lost.

Alice in wonderland all the time. All the time.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I write because my mind never shuts up. If I didn't let some of it out I might spontaneously combust.
Beautiful words and writing (as always).

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Nisa: I'm going to remind myself of that when I feel like giving up. ;)

Tamika: When something brings you peace it is definitely the right thing to do.

Suzanne!!!! You tried to quit? Say it ain't so. You simply can't, because clearly you are wired that way. The words that flow out of you are so powerful.

Karen: Ha! Is that the secret? We are plagued with overactive minds. One thing I know, it's got to be a lot more fun than a dull mind. :D

jbchicoine said...

I wish the random words in my head sounded so beautiful...guess I don't spend enough time outside these days...

Jemi Fraser said...

We have huge beautiful flakes of snowing coasting down from the sky today. Your photos make me want to give up the beauty and come for a visit :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

JB: Being out in nature changes and charges my energy, my attitude and my creativity. Gotta have it.

Jemi: Too bad we couldn't do a time-travel switch. I could enjoy falling snow and you could have the sunny beach for a bit mid-winter.

Lisa and Laura said...

Isn't it amazing how being a writer gives you permission to look at the world in an entirely different way? It's sort of like going through your life nearsighted and then all of the sudden putting on glasses that give you 20/20 vision.

storyqueen said...

I write because doing the housework sucks.


But also because there are stories that run through my veins and I am lucky enough to find the words sometimes to tell them.

Shelley

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

LiLa: It does sharpen the senses. Of course, one runs the risk of being so focused on something as to be seen like a mad scientist. ;)

Shelley: I know those stories are in your veins. You are the storyqueen after all.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Hehehe... Storyqueen made me laugh.

I write because it makes me happy. I love turning a phrase into something shiny and new and playing with words.

VR Barkowski said...

Ravishing photo, beautiful words.

Sometimes I write for the sheer joy of it, but the truth is I have no choice. Words slip in between a heartbeat and a breath - writing is who I am.

Bish Denham said...

I write in fits. When in one of my fits I write tons. The rest of the time I'm observing, collecting, my brain becoming a kind of simmering cauldon where words and ideas are cooking. Suddenly there will be a bubble that rises to the surface and bursts, sending out a wonderful aroma. And that's when I have another writing fit. I've been like this my whole life.

Linda Kage said...

Honestly, why does anyone take the path they take? Why become a cop, a preacher, a doctor, a lawyer? I just love to write and create stories and escape away into the little world I made up all by myself. It's nice there; they know me there!!

And I agree with VR, you still make beautiful words when you see wonderous scenery.

Julie Dao said...

Tricia, I love coming to your blog. Your words are always so lovely and peaceful. This might be an overly simplistic answer, but I write because it makes me happy. I'm young and make mistakes all the time and I'm never sure about anything in life, but this is the only thing that I feel certain about. It's my safety net, like a bowl of chicken noodle soup after a cold day in the world.

Robyn Campbell said...

Pat, I write because I must. Well, anyway, you know why I write. I love your answer. Especially the part about being loopy in public. =) The pic is simply beautiful too. I wanna be there. Riding one of my horses. Hmmm, I feel a story coming on. Um, gotta go deep into this world. Talk to you soon. (^_^)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Stephanie: That sense of awe and playfulness is so key. (and hopefully we can remember it later when we're rewriting and want to throw the toy across the room!)

VR: "words slip in between heartbeat and breath" Ooh my that is beautiful!

Bish: A superb analogy! What I also like about that is it gives permission and space for the non-writing part of writing.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Linda: "they know me" Wow. You guys are really saying some awesome things here.

Julie: The thing about that safety net is it's yours. No one can take that happiness from you. Beautiful thought.

Robyn: Have you ridden horses on a beach? It seems like a wonderous thing to do. But, as you said on your blog, the wonder of writing is you can create that world and that experience.

Elana Johnson said...

Your blog always inspires me. I write to bleed out the emotion in my life. Hopefully in a constructive way.

Michelle Gregory said...

because i'll go crazy if i don't. there are too many stories clamoring for my attention to ignore. beautiful blog. i look forward to reading more.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Elana: Wow, thanks! I love the notion of bleeding out emotion.

Michelle: Welcome and thanks! Those story ideas do get rowdy sometimes, don't they?

Robyn Campbell said...

Pat, it is a wondrous thing to do. And yes it feels like you can conquer anything when you ride a horse on a beach. I can do it in my writing too. We are so very lucky. =)

jdcoughlin said...

I write because I can't not write. I tried to. Told myself all those little things my brain was telling me sucked just so I wouldn't have to write them down. Fear of taking a chance, big time. Over that now. Still finding some of my brain sparks suck, but at least it's not all of them. Would probably have better ideas if I lived in CA. That picture is so awesomely beautiful!

PJ Hoover said...

I love how being a writer has opened up huge worlds around me I never quite realized existed. They were there, but I never looked beyond the surface.

Natalie said...

I write because I love finishing a story, creating something where there used to be a blank word document.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Robyn: We are, indeed.

JD: Ha! I don't know if California gives better ideas, but I'll take them anywhere I find them. ;) I'm struggling with the brain-sparks-suck syndrome right now.

PJ: I think your blog post about making connections at conferences really backs up this comment. You reached out and made things happen.

Natalie: That's a wonderful comment--the fulfillment of creation, making something out of nothing.

Donna said...

Hey, I missed this one. It's so much fun to take a peek into your private world.

elizabeth mueller said...

You are a great literary artist!

I write because it helps me escape. It helps me align my consciousness. It helps me express the deepest, darkest, quitest thoughts inside me.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wow, Elizabeth, thanks for reading through these older posts and commenting. :D
Align consciousness is an amazing way to describe it!