Better To Write

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, 
than to write for the public and have no self.”  
Cyril Connolly 1903 – 1976
English literary critic and writer

It is still holiday time here in New Zealand and today, I had a couple of friends over for lunch. They came early for coffee then we played a couple of hands of mahjong, had lunch and two more rounds of mahjong, then they left. Having tidied up after this lunch I then had to think about my blog post for today. 

I thought back on some of the posts I had written early in my blogging career, and I came across one entitled Better to Write, written in January 2012. I particularly liked the quote and thought how much I agreed with it.  So I thought I would repost it here, with a few, minor alterations.

Just as some people, particularly children, like to sing I like to write.

I have many notebooks filled with my writing and often it is work that has never been seen by anybody else.  The joy in much of this writing was just to get it down on a page.

Of course, with the advent of at least one computer in every home, writing has become easier.  Well, the physical act of writing has.  No more putting pen to paper but instead sitting at a keyboard and letting the words pour forth.  On a good day that is.

But like all writers, whether well-known or like me, just writing for the pleasure of writing, we know what it is like to step up to the page aka computer screen to be faced with a blank sheet.  No thoughts on anything.  Blank screen and a blank mind.  But then something comes and the void is filled.

As writers we are vulnerable.  We write about what matters to us and expose ourselves and unveil our deepest feelings.  Our words reveal much about us and our truths.  And sometimes, because of this, writing feels dangerous.  But this is what keeps us (well me at any rate) coming back to the screen/notebook/page.  The need to share my feelings on the page with others (hopefully) or just with myself when necessary.  It is scary and often I am looking for excuses – the dishes must be done, the washing hung out etc etc, but I keep coming back to the page.

At times we feel the need to judge, to edit our writing.  We strive for perfection but we know, unless we are one of the great writers, that perfection is out of reach.  Lord Marks of Marks & Spencer fame said “The price of perfection is too great.  Close enough is good enough.”

Photo Dreamstime

“And as the water continues in its downhill rush over rocks
and  the thoughts continue to tumble around in my brain
with no defined pattern or path,
they eventually find and settle into a safe place
and the void is suddenly filled
and my mind is active once again.”

Judith Baxter 1938 –
Writer, Blogger, Friend

JB Wellington, NZ
January 5, 2023

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Thoughts for Thursday

I have talked before about a blog I follow, Murder is Everywhere (MIE). This is a group of thriller/murder writers who have banded together. to make MIE. Unfortunately, the founding member has since died, but his plans for this continue.

Each day a different member posts a blog and I start my day with the first cup of Earl Grey, sitting in bed reading who has said what today.

A few days ago, one of the bloggers, Annamaria had a post headed Limericks for Mental Health. Apparently, she has been writing limericks for many years and says she uses them to let off steam. Americas 

Here is the Link so you can read the whole thing.

With her approval I am copying the opening limerick here.-

“Every Sunday Patricia must blog
On a subject she chooses to flog, 
But she cannot today
Her brain’s not okay
It’s stuck in a terrible fog.”

And because my mind has been in a terrible fog since I arrived back from Bali three days ago, I am going to let you see what she wrote for me.

Judith of the surname Baxter
Got angry of anyone taxed her.
All levies she ignored
From the nation’s tax board,
Until they showed how they’d axed her.

Clever huh? And so that’s my thoughts for Thursday.

JB, October 27, 2022
Wellington, NZ

Once upon a time.

My youngest grandson, from the time he was about six, displayed all the signs of a word class writer, or film maker.

Even back then he had an advanced knowledge of words, asked pointed deep questions and actually did some writing.

As the years have gone by he continues to dissect characters and motivation and discuss scenes. He is a deep thinker.

Now, at the age of fourteen, there have been times he has called his grandma (that’s me) to talk about story ideas and ask for my input. I have asked for his ideas and input.

When it comes to writing, we are more like equals. I respect his thoughts, his mind.

But this is actually about ONCE UPON A TIME.

He told me that a teacher once told him that you can never start a story with the words ONCE UPON A TIME.

After giving it some thought, I told him that, as a writer, he can start a story any way he wishes. But I do understand where that teacher was coming from. I guess unless you are writing a fairy tale your story will start differently.

Like his grandma, writing is not a daily occurrence. But I have found a long time can pass while the grey cells think. And produce. I have experienced that particular joy, when it seems I have not been productive, but when I sat to write it all came out like a perfectly baked soufflé.

Some writers set a goal of so many words a day, but I like the way G2 and I do it. Think, wait, think, and let all the ingredients blend in a rhythm. I have tried pushing myself to so many words a day, but the result is a cheap knock-off.

I don’t need to say I am very proud of him. Do I?

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

So from North of 43, I bid you adieu and hasten off the think creatively!

Chris G October 25th ‘22