I am certain there are people in the world who do not think of writing as something pleasurable, who may even think of it as something one must do occasionally, but that should be avoided if possible.

I am not one of those people. Learning to write when I was a child was the second greatest experience of my young life right after learning to read. Since then, writing has followed me around like an eager puppy dog. Having met other writers in workshops and writing groups, I know I’m not alone. There are many others, like me, who find themselves awake in the middle of the night with pen in hand feeding the need to write or, while driving, scramble under the car seat for a map or napkin that might serve to hold the words that start simmering unbidden inside their heads.

Maybe there are groups for writers that can’t help themselves, like shoppers anonymous or gamblers anonymous. But for me, claiming writing as mine and finding the time to write every day has scratched the itch. Turning that daily habit into a practice has brought me joy. In fact daily writing fulfills all the meanings of a practice for me: it provides me time to both rehearse and perform a craft. It is becoming for me an area of expertise. It even serves as ritual by slowing me down and allowing space around my experiences, senses, thoughts and feelings.

The only drawback in writing for me was the inherent loneliness of it and building regular time into my day to allow for writing. That changed for me when Cathy was diagnosed with breast cancer and I asked how I could help. She replied, “Write with me.” Since then, we have shared our writing with each other. Occasionally we will still call each other at seven in morning, as we did each week day during her illness, talk for a few minutes, then hang up and write. At minimum we set aside a day month to share our writing and the thoughts and perceptions our writing inspires within each other

By committing to each other as writing partners, our commitment to our writing has grown. Along the way we’ve seen how connection and dialog feeds our lives.

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