Episode 37: Romanticizing Writing

Romanticizing The Process vs Planning The Process

In this episode:

Is joy the point of writing? There are so many things one can feel when they write, and the deep level satisfaction of engaging and wrestling with the work is what most of us eventually feel - in addition to joy, of course. Any art, writing included, it an iterative process. Most artists find themselves going back again and again to their work, changing and improving and making it better before it's finally finished. 

Before I started this process and before I reinvested myself in writing my novel, I romanticized the idea of writing and the act and process of creativity. There can be joy in planning, there can be things that come up that surprise you, that are unexpected, and even the process of writing doesn’t take away from the creative part of writing—it just lets you know where you’re going. It’s not a static process, it’s a fluid process.
— Melanie Parish

Mel details her experiences before she started this process and the tendency to romanticize either the wildly creative parts of writing or the end result. There are a lot of reasons why people write, and sometimes your work doesn't turn out how you expect. We read portions of Anne Bradstreet's poem, "An Author to her Novel."

(Mel would like to give a shout-out to her 12th grade english teacher, Mrs. Berg, for introducing her to the poem and for a great AP english class!)

Abby also talks about her experiences in 12th grade English reading Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" and her battles with her 12th grade english teacher, Mrs. Wyche, over their differing tastes in literature.

(Also, Abby would like to give a shout out to Mrs. Wyche-- a.k.a. Lois--  for not only being an amazing teacher, but also an amazing friend and co-worker in later years!)

Jennie had an English professor in college, Mr. Finklepearl, who gave her some great advice. "Write your next paper in first person rather than writing it as a proper academic essay," he said. 

The permission for me to just to think and be in my own head, respond to the work in my own way- it turned everything around for me and helped me to learn how to write it in the proper academic way.
— Jennie Nash

He also gave her a great piece of advice and told her to go start her writing career instead of going to grad school. "Give it five years and see what happens," he said. Within 5 years she'd published her first book.

Jennie reads portions of the beautiful poem, "The Writer" by Richard Wilbert, talking about what writing IS.

If you want to write to have poeple read your work, engage with your work, and even eventually pay for your work, joy is only one of the emotions you might feel along the way.