On Writing…


Pause to listen
Reach the tendrils out
See what is around me
In my mind‘s eye,
and in this beautiful world
Let the roots sink down
The skin soften
Images, impressions
gently arrive
Or maybe pour in
Until I can taste them
on my tongue
And the heart settles
And says yes
Then words then gently drop
like water on the page

Recently I tried “Wild Writing,” which was fun. It’s a fast, freeform style – don’t let the pen leave the page, write faster than you can think, don’t censor anything…

I love and find value in this practice … at times. But it is far from the only one I use. In fact, more often my writing practice looks like the above, which yes, was written in the very style it speaks of:

Slow. Contemplative. Curious.

I don’t think either approach is better than the other. Just different. I use both at different times, in different moods, depending where the words are floating, or how they are stuck…

In short, I explore the pace of writing that feels most true in any given moment.

Sometimes writing faster than my second thoughts is just what I need! Wild writing (or even just blah-blah-blah journaling about life’s complexities) can be a great way to bypass the linear, critical, logical mind.

But slow and contemplative can be a meditative practice when I do it from a place of deep-listening rather than from the head.

I try to be honest with myself.

If writing fast becomes too rote because it just lets me barrel through and bypass any sense of spaciousness, then it becomes a good time to allow myself to sit with the empty pauses…

If writing slow means I get caught up in my mind, overthinking every single word or phrase or overarching meaning, it’s time to get reckless and make my pen move fast!

The point here is not to get stuck in any particular style, but to find practices that draw out my own authentic voice, and perhaps even tap in to subconscious themes, loves, or longings.

The trick is to remember that what works one day may not work the next. Part of authenticity is tuning in and adapting to the shifting times, moods, needs…

Again, honesty. And practice. I didn’t set out to write a bunch of poetry (or do psychotherapy on myself, lol), but writing every day has opened up so much I didn’t even know was under the surface! I’m grateful for these poems (and many of the revelations I’ve had), as they nourish me with their beauty “like water on the page.”

Written in northern Utah

Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu, via Unsplash


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