Monday, June 17, 2013

Why Would Anyone Want to Write???

A talented and amazing 
blogging friend of mine
recently asked me a question:
What would be the purpose or reason to write?

We had both received the same advice
from people in our lives:
"You have a story in you.  
You should write a book!

Let me tell you,
writing a book is easy ~ NOT!

It requires a tremendous amount of 
commitment, passion, and energy
to sustain you through 
late nights or early mornings
when the rest of the world is sleeping.

I was always fascinated with how
third grade students could brainstorm ideas 
with brightly colored markers,
pieces of paper,
and noisy enthusiasm.

Their simplest writing pieces 
could be astounding for their
revelations, insights, and wisdom.

Children Writing, Laos
Source:  Wikimedia

Watch the writing process of children, 
and you will know what arduous and serious work it is.

Children Writing, Germany
Source:  Wikimedia

Third grade boys, in particular,
will do just about anything to avoid writing.


Writing is hard, hard work.
Third grade boys are brilliant in their avoidance.

Check Out Boys Versus Girls, Thailand
Source:  Wikimedia

No matter what 
genre, form, and topic of writing 
you choose to tackle,
it is not easy.
Even the shortest, funniest pieces
require much effort.

In fact, the shortest and funniest pieces
require the most effort.

Teachers push their students'
young minds, hearts, and souls
to write almost daily.
We constantly require them to do things
most sane adults would never attempt. 

If you choose to tackle 
the great American or Canadian novel,
Watch Out!
You may be in for a rough ride!
Probing the human heart and psyche
is the hardest and loneliest path one can walk.
It is also a painful and a dangerous walk.

Stunning revelations can surface
from your unconscious mind 
to wreak havoc in your conscious mind.

Locating the Unconscious Mind
Source:  Wikipedia

J.R.R. Tolkien described his unconscious as a 
compost-heap consisting mainly of linguistic matter.

He once said that his stories grew
"... like a seed in the dark out of the leaf-mould of the mind."

A Facinating Mind
Source:  Getty Images
"The Hobbit." Getty Images. Getty Images, Inc., 1999-2013. 17 Jun. 2013.
Read more:

Hundreds of scholars have spent decades 
probing that dark leaf-mould in an attempt 
to understand how and why something
like JRRT's compost-heap
could produce his stunning canon.

I, myself, have been there probing Tolkien.
I have written many essays on his writing.

Pondering Tolkien, December, 2012

I once spent three long, coffee-fueled all~nighters
dealing three serious crises in my life
(over which I had no control and could do nothing about)
while writing a major research paper for a 
course on J.R.R.Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and the Inklings.

On what topic you might ask?

A comparison of JRRT's Silmarillion with John Milton's Paradise Lost.

Geez Louise! 
Just for once could you walk the easy path?

How could I do this?
Surely some man must be asking that question?

I am a woman!  
Hear me roar!

And many men think they're the strongest sex!
Irony is delicious!  LOL!!!

Why would I do this?
Surely somebody is wondering about this too?

Answer:  I am an INFJ.
Don't even ask what that means!  
It's complicated!
But the short answer is 
that it was fascinating and fun.

dont worry!!!!!
a lot of peeps dosent git moi !!!!!  
Sources:  Wikipedia
Silmarillion and Paradise Lost

Now, my unconscious, 
like that of many writers,
is more of a Mordor than a Lothlórien.
Tolkien's was a compost-heap;
mine is muskeg.

Some of the methane
currently bubbling up unwanted from my muskeg
could flip a vast herd of caribou toes up ~ 

Just in case anyone is wondering:  
Caribou have four toes on each hoof.
That's a lot of hooves and toes 
pointing skyward and inducing a lot of guilt.

Yes, writing can be lonely, 
painful, difficult, and revealing,

There are complicated reasons why 
Hemingway's wife found him 
in his pajamas and robe
in the foyer of their home
on July 1, 1961.
Suicide by 12-gauge shotgun.
Guaranteed, writing helped him pull the trigger.
Source:  The New York Times

Ernest Hemingway
Source:  Wikipedia

"What would be the purpose or reason to write?"
Duh! ~ my questioning friend was a third grade teacher!

sumtimes peeps dont git sumthin 
thats obvious to many peeps around them
sumtimes tcr~peeps dont hear wat there telling theyre students

I'm betting my friend said something like this,
if he taught writing to his third graders.
I've said it countless times to my students over the decades.
I said it to him as well.

Every person is unique. 
No matter who they are, 
scratch the surface, 
and you're going to find an important story.

  Fireworks, South Africa
Source:   Wikipedia

Also story telling (whatever the form) 
is the oldest and most powerful way 
of passing on knowledge of the human heart, 
the human experience, 
and what it means to be human.

Soluy and Terry Sharing Stories
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
December, 2008

I also told my friend that writing a book is not easy.
It is exhausting.

But he already knew these things.
He was a third grade boy man,
and third grade males 
are very perceptive
at understanding 
what even a short piece of writing requires.

I also told him that I was wrestling with 
my manuscript "Human Refuse" right now.

That the lanced-heart of it goes straight 
to Lac Suel in the summer of 1961.

That I was confronting 
my Inner Gingerbread Man.

That I had hit a wall of Writer's Block.

Wrestling with Human Refuse

Not to worry!  I am not an Ernest Hemingway!
Even though we shared the same difficult year,
I am a sparkly Firework 
bursting with colors
that light up my darkness!

Fireworks, Washington D.C.
Source:  Wikimedia

Gandalf, that wise old Wizard, made only one me!

What would be the purpose or reason to write?
Because if you get in the flow as a writer,
you will feel an exhilaration like nothing else.

It's like riding the best North Shore wave ever,
but you're surfing with a pen instead of a board.

Exhilaration ~ In the Flow!
Waimea Bay, Oahu, Hawaii
Source:  Wikimedia

Beware of tackling writing, though.
You might end up buried in leaf-mould
or stuck in thawing muskeg,
and you'll have to flounder about
and struggle to find your inner firework.

Katy Perry's Firework in images:

Source:  You Tube

Katy Perry's lyrics for Firework:

Source:  You Tube

I find them both illuminating. 


  1. I haven't seen you around Blogger for a couple weeks so I thought I would visit and say hey! I love that song (Firework).

  2. Hey back at you, Keith! I've been preoccupied w/ lovely things like colonoscopies and big bad dental needles! Your recent post on Fate and Coincidence was super. I tried to leave a comment on it, but I'm getting into trouble because I'm LD in computers,
    so who knows what might have happened. Have a good one!

  3. Yeah not for the faint of heart
    At any cart
    As it can sure cause much
    But when you have the touch
    Let the fireworks flow
    and your muse grow

  4. Hey Pat!
    Where you're at!
    Muses and fireworks are leading me
    to places I never expected to be!
    Take care!

  5. Ooh, I have a great quote for you:

    “Isn't the writing of good prose an emotional excitement?"
    "Yes, of course it is. At least, when you get the thing dead right and know it's dead right, there's no excitement like it. It's marvelous. It makes you feel like God on the Seventh Day – for a bit, anyhow.” (Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night)

    Writing IS hard work. Occasionally (rarely) it flows almost effortlessly. But mostly it's blood and sweat, followed by merciless pruning and clipping. And then some more blood and sweat and more pruning and clipping. (Of all the mixed metaphors, for one thing.)

    JRRT and Jack - I so look forward to meeting them one day in Heaven. They are at the top of my list of literary heroes.

    I think my unconscious is probably like the Mathom-House at Michel Delving - full of unwanted items, with (or so I would like to think) the merest possibility of some mithril hidden amongst the lumber. :)

  6. Thanks for your wonderful, perfect quote, Sue! And comment!
    One can always hope for mithril!
    Along with meeting JRRT and Jack, I hope there are enormous libraries in Heaven!
    That include all my writing in published form! LOL!

    Have you read Tolkien's "Tree and Leaf?" ~
    It has a famous JRRT essay on why fairy stories are the highest form of art
    as Sub-creation reflecting God's Creation.

    It also has a short story called "Leaf by Niggle"
    about the creative process (Sub-creation)
    which some consider an allegory for JRRT's creative process.

    I think the story is also about judgement, redemption, mercy, grace, and ultimate fulfillment as a artist.
    Such big ideas in such a little book!
    Have a good one!

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. I know better than ever to attempt a novel, LOL! That's why I just blog instead. Short, sweet and superficial -- that's me! Well, maybe not sweet ALL the time.

    1. Hi SWS! Your short, sweet, and superficial comment spoke volumes! It had me laughing ~ again. Notice I had a blog administrator zap the unsweet comment above into Google oblivion. As for superficial, anyone who titles her blog "She Who Seeks" will write posts that are not superficial! LOL! Anybody who dares to explore/explain Jungian archetypes and other fascinating topics is not superficial! Really, really LOLing now! Loved the word ALL for several reasons! Thanks for giving me some delicious humor with my morning coffee! Have a good day, Seeker!

    2. Don't be downhearted about that jerk. You know you've really "ARRIVED" here in the blogosphere when you get your first troll. I have one too and I delete every comment he makes, LOL! And if you turn off the "anonymous" option on your comment form, that will stymie many a troll right there.

  9. Best blog ever, Fundy! I was mesmerized. You are amazingly insightful. Absolutely loved the carbou/muskeg analogy. You can take a girl out of Canada but you can't ... Anyway when I retired I spent a year writing the worst murder mystery in the world. But I became so possessed by the characters (I had based them on former co-workers) that when they threw me a surprise party a few months later I had a weird split from reality when they all came walking in. I thought they were my book characters! Can't describe it more than that - it was very bizarre. Anyway thanks for such a great post!

    1. Hi Francie! Thanks for your wonderful comment! It was affirming, encouraging, and it told a perfect story about the mysterious process of writing. Trust me ~ I got it! Bizarre experience, yes! But then people who spend time trying to write fiction, memoir, poetry, (heck it probably happens with grocery lists at times), well those people usually experience bizarre things. As for the worst murder mystery in the world ~ so what? You went for it! You probably worked through some unresolved issues with your co-workers and Lord knows what! Who knows? ~ you may return to it sometime, and it will transform itself in some mysterious way. Into something better! I love Tolkien's allegory about finally discovering that his niggling at "art" led to an opportunity to explore his art transformed into something so wonderful that it exceeded his wildest dreams. Thinking about JRRT's "Tree and Leaf" gives me hope and courage to keep niggling. So does your comment! Thank you, thank you! Take care!

  10. You always have such nice pictures! It's so cool to see other kids in different countries writing. I love to write. Sometimes I have so many ideas, it's not easy writing them all out! I think we just have to keep on practicing :D

    1. Hi Becky!
      What a lovely comment you wrote! It made my day!

      I thought the pictures of the children were so beautiful, I simply had to post them. Some adults don't realize how deeply children think and feel. Their brains are a long way from being fully developed, and they haven't lived as long, but guaranteed children have important thoughts and insights into life. I consider myself fortunate to have spent many years in the company of children.

      I love to write too! I so get that your mind can be crammed with ideas. Sometimes ideas are shooting around in my head, and my fingers can't keep up with them on my keyboard. Sometimes, I'll stop and write down a list of the all the ideas ~ just enough for each idea to allow me to remember it later. Then I ask myself, "What's the most important thing I need to write about right now?" Then I start. If a new idea that I want to write about pops up, then I add it to the list, and keep on with what I was already writing. This strategy doesn't work every single time, but it has helped me a lot.

      Definitely keep on practicing, kiddo! Write your heart out! Just know that every writer, even the world's best, can always use the help of someone else to review, revise, and edit their writing. I used to think writer's ideas flowed right onto the paper (or into the computer) perfectly from beginning to end. Ha! It's hard work, which you already know ~ smart and pretty lady. Keep practicing. You already an awesome writer for your young age!

      Take care!

  11. I see you as Fireworks, in the best way. I want to read "Human Refuse" - I bet it will be fascinating! Meanwhile, I'll read "The Silmarillion" - I only read "The Hobbit", and that was a long time ago.
    I didn't see your nasty comment, only comments that you had had one. Please don't let that type of stuff get you down. I had a "horse abuse" comment on my blog. Can you imagine? Me? What a laugh. That just shows how ignorant those nasty comment folks are.

    1. Hi Terry! Thanks for your kind words! I was always taught, if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all! I try to ignore the nasties, but in the first few seconds of seeing a mean comment, it kind of gets me. Then I just zap it off into Google oblivion. You? Horse abuse? Now there was a stupid comment!!! Your love for all the sentient beings in your life shine through your posts and comments. I hope you all stay safe. And thank you again for your kind words.

    2. Oh, I forgot! Just a heads up! Reading The Silmarillion is a bit like reading Genesis. It's all about Creation (of Middle Earth) and epic battles between good and evil. Tons of characters and lots of history (of Middle Earth again). It's fascinating, and you definitely get the backstory of the major players in Lord of the Rings. Since I read the Silmarillion after LOTR, I don't know what it would be like to read The Silmarillion first. It's definitely a challenging and amazing read, but I kept an index file box to keep track of every thing my first read (for a university course). Came in handy when I chose to compare it to Paradise Lost! I was also studying Milton and Shakespeare at the same time (and a few other things as well). LOL! Have a good evening!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.