Writing is scary. Writing is exhilarating.
Being a writer can be such a conundrum.
While on one side you have all this fantastic creative work that is just jumping and bumping around in your head and screaming to get out….and then on the other side there is the fear of judgment and criticism once you put your words out there for the world to see and read.
I love this quote about writing which summarizes some of my feelings about writing.
“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”
A few years ago, at my doctor’s urging, I retired from my stressful museum director’s job of 15+ years, to work from home and write. When I run into people in town they always ask, “How are you doing?” “Great.” I answer. “Where are you working now?” they ask. “I am staying home and writing,” would be my answer. There is always this big pause…. (cue cricket sounds and deafening silence). “Oh.” They would then say, (more silence) “but what are you really doing?”
What is it about writing that makes people question that people actually do it? All around us writing and words fill our days. From the description under products on shopping websites….to classic novels that line our community library shelves, someone, somewhere had to take time to identify and construct each sentence and thought into something that would inspire us to actions and emotions. Then why is that people have such a low perception or understanding of those of us who choose to spend our days hidden in our offices pouring out our heart and soul in a hopefully wonderful novel or blog post?
I remember that very moment in time that I finally publicly acknowledged my passion for writing. I was at a reception for the Plein Air Painting and Writing event last year (Columbia Center for the Arts / Hood River Oregon). All the artists and writers were gathered at the breakfast buffet introducing themselves. We had to give our name, city and then tell if we were a painter or a writer. I anxiously awaited my turn. Closer and closer. Now!
“Hi, my name is Connie Nice. I live in White Salmon….and I am a writer!” There! It was out. It was official now. I no longer was just hiding way and keeping it quiet. It was an “ah-ha” moment that has defined and redefined me each and every day that I sit and write. I am a writer.
This year I was back. Plein Air 2015 arrived and I plunged myself into the inspiring locations and challenging time frame of producing multiple pieces within such a short period of time.
Today as I think about the word prompt “write” for Tuesday @ Ten, I want to share a short piece that I wrote for Plein Air. This was inspired by a visit to an assigned location at the Mt. Hood Winery.
My hope and dream for you, is that you wake up each day ready to identify your dreams and embrace them without hesitation. Be who you have been “gifted” to be. Fully! Without regrets!
A Palette of Words
Inspired by the Mt. Hood Winery / 2015 Plein Air
By Connie Nice
We write our names on the register then turn to go our separate ways.
We do not know each other personally, but nod a polite acknowledgement in passing.
We are both here for the same reason.
The painter sets up her canvas and easel and thoughtfully contemplates the blank white space.
Splashes of paint are added to her palette and skillfully mixed to create just the right colors.
Brush in hand she glances up, captures the light in her mind and begins.
Soon her canvas comes alive with color and shape.
A transformative art form. A masterful gift.
I am in awe.
I am not a painter.
I sit quietly and contemplate the world around me.
Soaking up the light. Listening to the sounds.
I close my eyes and feel the breeze; smell the flowers.
My canvas is my paper. Stark, white and empty.
Drawing in a deep breath of crisp morning air I begin.
Vowels and consonants become words. Words become thoughts.
Thoughts transform into stories or poems to share with the world…
…or keep just to myself.
The words tumble out of my mind. They spill off my tongue and consume the void on the paper.
My paint is not oils, chalks or pencils.
My paint is a palette of words.
I am a writer.
I am in awe.