That should be a dirty word. It is one that gets us all in trouble, well, it can. We expect so much, and it can cause us to push ourselves and each other.
As a part of expanding my horizons, I began listening to podcasts about or on writing. The Writing University has a series by the same name that offers recordings associated with the University of Iowa. These include talks from their famous Summer Writing Festival, known as “Eleventh Hour” talks about the craft.
One such broadcast from last summer by Éireann Lorsung, titled, http://www.writinguniversity.org/podcast/éireann-lorsung-‘productivity’-and-‘failure’-for-writers. Her talk hit me right on top of the head, much like a hammer. She began writing poetry at sixteen and completed her university studies. She spoke not only about writing, but life in general as well.
We are a competitive society, and regardless of whether your craft is writing, art or business, the bottomline of what we produce as being a means of measurement for success or failure is universal. Good versus Bad.
This blog is not writing. It is the final product, but not the most important aspect. All the work that you don’t see, that I don’t see, the process, is most important part. Getting from the germ of an idea to this that you see, without it the final product would not be.
She spoke about play, experiment, life, all that we are and do are part of the process of writing. A mistake that I, myself have made. Compartmentalizing my life, quantify my success by what I have to show for it, and lack of appreciation of the process of writing. Pow!
Lorsung redefined for me the writer’s cheer/cry – WRITE! My perspective has changed, her approach was personal. Her manner, word choice and examples over and over seemed to echo my experience and thought process. Yes, this is a personal unique methodology, this craft of writing – but we all have something in common. Anxiety.
Not only offering perspective, but suggestions for dealing with self pressure, Lorsung does so with humor, encouragement. Redefining the writing process, and life in general, a pressure valve was created during the thirty-eight minute podcast for me. (Éireann, thank you!)