Writer’s Weekend Resources – Why Art Matters More Than Ever

 

pin-tell-stories-ecoI haven’t got my usual list of favorite blog posts and recently read books for you today. It’s been a long week and, like many people, I’ve been distracted from my usual routines by current events. I’m behind on client deadlines and pretty much irreversibly behind on my NaNoWriMo novel (a reality I’ll address in a future post).

As a writer, it’s never a good feeling when we become – for whatever reason –temporarily disconnected from our work; but I also know that writers are “writing” even when they are unable to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Everything we experience is part of our process. Everything.

So, while I don’t have a long list of links to share today, I did want to share links to a few pieces that helped me center and ground myself in the midst of all the chaos, uncertainty, and fear:

From Creating Art Matters More Than Ever by @KendraLevin:

I’ve heard many people talking about how trivial everything seems in comparison with national events and their global reverberations. Many writers were a week into National Novel Writing Month at the time of the election. To resume as if nothing has changed seems impossible; to focus on our own work when such massive changes are going on all around us can feel solipsistic and naïve, or the work can seem trivial.

But it’s not.

From On Going High by @danijshapiro:

To be a writer, and to be a teacher of writing, is to constantly, steadfastly open oneself up to what is.  To not shy away.  To feel fear and embrace that fear — otherwise known as courage — and to find a voice for what feels impossible to say.

From 5 Reasons Writing is Important to the World by @KMWeiland:

[podcast w/transcript]

Stories are, fundamentally, truths. Even when the author didn’t intend it to be so, even when he is unaware of it—even when the readers or viewers are unaware–a story is always a statement. If it is to ring true, then what it says must reflect reality—it must reflect what is true.

And what is true is always good—whether it is beautiful, whether it is dark, whether it is healing, whether it is painful. Truth is always a beacon, a guiding light pointing us back to the best things in life.

In a follow-up post, Weiland shares the personal stories of her readers/listeners as they wrote about why writing is important to them: 15 (More) Reasons Writing is Important – In Your Own Words.

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I hope that these posts might provide some comfort and inspiration to anyone who is struggling to reconnect with his or her writing. And I hope that maybe they will get us all thinking about the importance of connecting through story – of sharing and listening and learning.

 

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Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.

This post originally appeared on the Live to Write – Write to Live blog.
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24 thoughts on “Writer’s Weekend Resources – Why Art Matters More Than Ever

  1. I felt like writing was more important than ever this past week–to escape reality for awhile, at the very least. That’s why books have always been important to me–they are, among other things, a break from the “real” world. So writers have to keep writing them, especially in turbulent times. Let’s all keep writing, okay?

    • Here, here, Tina! 🙂
      I admit that this was a very tough week for me. I was unable to get much work done at all. Too much processing to do … and a strong need to spend time in nature, away from my desk. It’s Monday now, and I’m trying to get myself back in the groove. We have to go through all the stages of our emotions. At the moment, I’m still careening between fear and grief, but every once in a while I feel a touch of determination in there. I need to pick up that thread and follow it.
      Thanks for sharing.

  2. I’ve been finding my refuge in reading and writing poetry over the past few weeks (even months), while so much seems to be in turmoil in the world and in my own personal life. I was supposed to do an informal NaNoWriMo (less than 50,000, to finish my first draft), but prose has gone out the window. It seems only poetry will do! Strange… Thank you, however, for these suggestions and well-penned, calm words.

    • I love the idea of tapping into poetry in times like these, Marina. I am not at all a poet, but I realize there is something so potent about that particular kind of writing. I hope that the exploration is serving you well. I also was aiming to do a NaNoWriMo novel, but I think that ship may have sailed for me. I have done some good work on the shaping of the story, but I may need to admit defeat on the word count side of things. It’s ok. We do what we do when the time is right.

  3. Struggling to reconnect is what most people are doing now all over the world. To writing, to reality, to the future. I’m getting the impression I might be able to use my turmoil of emotions to sharpen my use of words and images and find new inspiration…

    • This is so true, Bea. I have definitely been feeling disconnected from reality and my future, as you say. It’s like we were going along with one set of assumptions, and now that rug has been ripped from under our feet and we’re free-falling to who-knows-where. It’s disorienting, to say the least. But our words and our stories will be the lifeline we need to get ourselves back on track.
      I hope your writing is going well.

      • So so. I have lots of new earning-my-living work which is very lucky in these lean and mean times, but isn’t helping my writing. But I’m really feeling all the world craziness will end up motivating me properly 🙂

  4. Thank you for this posting. I believe there is no more important time in the history of the world when writers should be writing. Not about what they ‘presume’ is happening in the world but with the creative edge of listening, responding and using their own unique voice. (not crafted by anyone else but crafted only to their own creativity) Because I am researching the past so I can truly ‘feel and live the lives of those long gone’ I see such a pattern emerging to the ‘now’ . The world is in turmoil that’s why it so important none of us is ‘navel’ gazing. Really look at what is occurring in the middle east, places like North Korea. Look at what folks are writing and passionately expressing ‘outside’ America (about America….about the election. ( places like Israel for example, etc etc) . as well as inside an often angry country (not just about elections) and then , then use it, be it poetry, fiction or articles to breathe through your expressions a fresh clear voice.

    • Thanks, Faye. As usual, your comment is full of important ideas that warrant some unpacking. I am still coming to terms with how recent events have opened my eyes to so much that I didn’t know about the world I live in. It’s too easy for us to become navel gazers … too easy for us to become caught up in the intricacies and struggles of our own lives apart from everyone and everything else. We are all working so hard, and there are so many distractions designed to keep us from seeing clearly (or even bothering to look at) what is happening around us. Thank you for the added inspiration.

  5. Thanks, Jamie, for your quotes and your own thoughts. I have written what I need to write. We clearly must keep on with our particular voices and mediums. Creativity doesn’t “leave” us–we only might leave it–and it always awaits more chances to use us as instruments. Regards.

    • You’re very welcome, Cynthia, and thank you for being here.
      You’re right, of course, we must keep on creating … even when (perhaps especially when) our worlds turn upside down, for whatever reason.

  6. Pingback: Writer’s Weekend Resources – Why Art Matters More Than Ever — Live to Write – Write to Live – vinodscribble

    • So glad you’re getting back to your groove, Keith. That’s wonderful! 🙂
      And I’m also glad you found our site. Glad to have you here and look forward to “seeing” you around.

      • That’s so nice that you’re getting such a positive response. Congrats! I hope you continue to enjoy the process and the journey.

  7. OH … MY … GOD! Totally hit me with it. My rewriting went off track, my NaNo writing tanked, emotionally gutted and wrecked by current events and finding hope in such a hopeless environment is tough so I appreciate the links, especially the quote. I LOVE this quote! Definitely need to share stories. Thanks for posting.

    • Sorry to hear you’ve been going through some of the same darkness that I’ve been experiencing, and which I know many others are battling as well. It is a very big challenge to push past the grief and confusion so that you can return to working on your art, whatever form that takes. Each of us has to process things at his or her own pace, and sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back. But, eventually, we find our way “home” to the place where we can start creating again … maybe tentatively, but almost certainly with a renewed sense of purpose. And that, I suppose, is the silver lining to having had to go through the darkness.
      Here’s to stories.

  8. Pingback: Hey, writers. Need a laugh? | Live to Write – Write to Live

  9. Pingback: Writer’s Weekend Edition – This Is Who I Am | Live to Write – Write to Live

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