Sometimes, it’s not about writing


It’s not about writing and it’s not about reading and it isn’t about an intellectualized filtering of thought, experiences, dreams, therapy sessions, silly human behaviour, and real-life dramas.

The art of words artfully placed; the inside of the writer that gets written, drawn, displayed.

From cipher images on caves and pyramids to letters on a chalkboard or a page or screen, humans work their multiples magics to tell a story.

Writers write.

Words are the paint, the brushes, the tools, the tables, the chairs, the ground the sky, the couch, the bathtub, the clay, the glue. Writing is the act of gathering — gathering what? Words? Feelings? Memories? Imagination? Clouds? All the stuff, stories, wonders, hurts questions, answers, fears that live inside the writer, breathed into life by the writer through the use of words? Is that the gathering? Is it any good? Will anyone ever read it? Who cares?

No-one really talks about it, but there’s a class structure to writing. People can debate among themselves as to the class structure: what kind of writing is on top, what kind of writing is on the bottom, but there is a class structure ranging from literature to yellow-journalism/PR tweets. Academic writing has its own class and it would be remiss of me not to mention of class of good writing essentials — editing, proofreading and grammar. There is also experimental writing that doesn’t pay attention to writing conventions. It’s all writing, and there is a hierarchy.

The physical act of writing touches a part of mind that is challenged to express itself out loud in spoken words. Sometimes, the writer gets out of the way, and something magical happens. Stories appear. What is written writes itself, shows itself, exposes itself. The writer takes dictation.

Sometimes, that happens when the mind is open and ready and empty of its fullness. These are the times of listening, of letting it be written, not writing.


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween.
This entry was posted in Life, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Sometimes, it’s not about writing

  1. Kate McCausland says:

    I love putting on some Radiohead and sitting down and just writing when I want to tap into that “flow”. It’s almost a trance, really. When you become so enraptured in what you’re writing that one minute you’ve a few words on the page and the next thing you know several pages of your steno are covered in barely readable scrawl.

  2. jaxibella says:

    This was beautiful and perfect and 100% right in every way.
    To a writer, words are everything.
    I’m trying to understand what you mean with the last bit – what is written writes itself? Is that what happens in those moments where I want to write and I sit down and I just write and write and write and 20 minutes later I have the rough copy of one of my best pieces?


    • fs says:

      Hello, J: Thank you. It sounds as if you have had those moments of no separation between you and the story and the words. Some people call it flow. But yes, I think that’s what happens. 🙂

Comments are closed.