Sunday, March 3, 2013

March Theme: MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH WRITING by Irene Latham

When you live in Alabama, "Spring Break" generally means one thing: a trip to the sugary sands of the Gulf Coast beaches.

Some prefer Gulf Shores, Alabama. Others enjoy Destin or Rosemary Beach or other gems along the Florida panhandle. What's great is how it's a short(ish) drive, yet you feel like you have entered a whole other country -- a country you've visited so many other Spring Breaks that it feels like home.

You might even say Alabamians' relationship with the Gulf Coast beaches is very much like a love affair. It's always there in our minds, when our toes burrow into the sand it's a passionate experience, and no matter what the hurricanes do, we keep coming back.

And that's exactly how I feel about my writing life. Writing is not work. It's not a job. It's a love affair.

Which is why, when I'm at the beach, I'm also writing.

Well, maybe not pages and pages a day. Maybe not even on my computer at all. But how the imagination whirrs when there's seafoam and sun and scuttling crab tracks! I don't know that I am ever NOT writing, even when I am not writing, which is a lot of the time. (Readers, are you following me?)

See, I don't subscribe to that notion that one must Write.Every.Day. I am much more eager to go out and live a life worth writing about. Which, for me, means trips, lots of trips. Not just to Destin, but to all sorts of places. It means talking to three year olds and ninety-three year olds. It means visiting museums and reading magazines I wouldn't normally read. It means eavesdropping and taking walks and looking at pictures of what the sky will look like when, eventually, the Milky Way and Andromeda collide.

In the same way that a lover is always on the edge of every thought, writing is there for me. It's my sin, my soul, Lo-lee-ta. It's all the Spring Breaks I've ever experienced, and it's why I don't ever want to take it for granted, don't want to waste even a moment.

See you at the beach!

9 comments:

  1. What a lovely celebration of the beachtime joy of writing!

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    1. Thanks so much, and wishing you sand and salt and warm breezes!

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  2. Wonderful post. I just came to the realization a few days ago that I need to relax and not worry so much about getting published. Maybe it will happen and maybe it won't, but just enjoy getting there.

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    1. It is tough to set aside the publishing piece, and you can't, not really... just set it aside when you WRITE. A great book that might help: The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. Keep going!!!

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  3. I love your attitude! I'm the same way. Writing isn't work. It's what I get to do when I finish my work.

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    1. Christina, you are a gal after my own heart! And that's not to say writing doesn't take effort -- even love affairs take effort. But it helps to remember that we CHOOSE to love, choose to write. We can walk away anytime, but we don't. Because it creates so much JOY in our lives...who wouldn't want that kind of relationship?? Happy writing.

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  4. So true, Irene--a writer is never NOT writing...

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  5. I finally made it over here, Irene. Lovely words about your love affair! And I'm not at all surprised. Love hearing about the beaches. I hope I can get to some gulf beach this summer. They are awesome!

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  6. Thanks for the reminder that everyone has their own process for writing. Writing toward daily word quotas doesn't work for everyone. As you're living your life, you are collecting a wealth of details and insights!

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