05.06.19 | On Writing

Author Anne Spencer Morrow (wife of Charles Lindbergh) put her finger on a fundamental truth when she observed, "Writing is more than living, as it is being conscious of living." Even (maybe especially) the young diarist knows how the blank page can be a wonderful way to "work things out."  No audience is necessary, or even desired. The privacy, the very anonymity of it all, invites thought on fire. Some continue the therapeutic practice throughout their adult years.

Compare such private stream-of-consciousness writing to the demands of compelling fiction as reflected in, say, novelist Ernest Hemingway's articulated machismo, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." Of course he bled. Not for nothing was he the esteemed Hemingway.


Let us bleed together. Some find the blank page daunting but persevere with the struggle in the hope of finding some satisfaction in "having written." 

Joining us for the session as "lead participant" is Dr. Olivia (Kaur) Chadha Miller (wife of club member David Miller), who holds a Ph.D. in creative writing and is currently an instructor of rhetoric and writing at C.U. As the author of the 2012 novel Balance of Fragile Things, Olivia has the extensive writing (and teaching) experience to provide context in what otherwise might be for us a lonely and solitary exercise (click here to access her extensive bio: www.oliviachadha.com). We will not be limited to the so-called realistic fiction genre as Olivia's writing range is expansive e.g. she is currently working on a sci-fi YA series.

So, whether your interest is in the category of literary, memoir, sci-fi, fantasy, short story, investigative journalism, essay or even the occasional OpEd piece, join us and share your insights (or simply vicariously enjoy the experience of others) when it comes to finding inspiration, maintaining discipline, overcoming writer's block, addressing inevitable first-draft distress, or locating the right editor and publisher.

This is not designed to be a simple one-hour writer's workshop as a way to learn the latest drafting gimmick or writing shortcut. No, the brutal truth is the writing life is often difficult, full of disappointment and dissatisfaction. Such is one of the "Four Noble Truths" for writers (see focus article, link: The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life - Wisdom ..., actually the book's wonderful twenty-page Pdf introduction and book overview).

You will be reacquainted with a theme of so many previous Member Monday sessions i.e. the wisdom of non-attachment and suffering emanating from an egocentric life. The writing life is no different. Rule one is to be mindful of one's motivation. The search for fame and fortune sabotages both.

Better to embrace the struggle. Do that and the mirror will take care of itself. 

Steve SmithComment