fierce wonderings (soLs)
A month ago I shared my notebooks and a little about my process on Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s blog, Sharing Our Notebooks. (It is a must-read and should absolutely be added to your blogroll!) One of the things that drives me as a writer (and a person) is questions. I’m constantly questioning, reflecting, and reconsidering. This is true for my writing life across genres and topics. Questions drive me. When questions become fierce wonderings, I enter a significant place as a writer.
Last December, my friend, writing buddy, and slicer, Ruth, gave me a notebook.
The moment I saw it, I knew I was going to use it to collect thoughts about Christmas. Someday (someday, someday, someday) I want to write a book that takes place during the Christmas season. I even added a quote to the opening page to guide my collecting.
And then in January my writing life was under siege. Everything moved down on the priority list — my current YA project, my professional book, my scrapbooking, my blogging — everything. Writing about the adoption of the girls, writing about parenting children who have a history without me, writing about my journey of being their mother, writing about who they are becoming, writing about the transitions, writing about healing…all of this sabotaged my previously effective and efficient writing life.
In fact, I waged a battle within myself to ignore the tugging to write about this area of my life. Finally, I caved and began writing. I didn’t know the genre. I didn’t know the audience. I didn’t know the purpose. I simply knew I needed to collect around the topic of Hannah and Stephanie and me.
I opened the notebook Ruth gave me. I needed to believe it was okay to be messy in my collection. I needed to know I could write close to the bones. I needed to trust I could write raw and it would be okay. A notebook from a friend was the perfect comfort.
It’s nearly full and I have a notebook from Tammy, another friend, writing buddy, and shy slicer (check out her blog!) that will continue my journey of writing about this part of my life.
The interesting thing is as I’ve written about this area of my life, I’ve gained clarity for my YA project, my keynote address for a conference this summer is shaking out, another professional book is percolating, and I’m more firm than ever on Mission Story.
I still don’t know if all of this collecting will lead to anything. I’m not “making” a genre. I can’t envision an audience. But the purpose…I’m getting it. All of this writing is for me. This is the best reason to be writing. I’m gaining insights. I’m being driven by fierce wonderings. I’m making sense of this little life of mine. And I’m healing.
Yes, this is the best reason to write.