Friday, July 30, 2010

I have found that I like to write in first is intimate is immediate draws you into the story like nothing else.
I started writing after the age of 50. I will be 60 in December. Not long. But it seems like my whole life.
I started with a little poetry group and soon found poetry as a way of purging all the gunk that had my pistons stuck.  They were confessional but poorly crafted. Craft. I never knew that writing had craft until I began taking workshops and joined a few writing groups. Boy, is that a hard lesson for a new writer to learn. There are rules. And you must learn the rules in order to be skilled enough to break the rules, otherwise your work reads like so much dribble...that only your good friends and family adoring says is wonderful.
But I have also learned that you must write that way to get to good writing. Because writers write.
The first writing workshop I attended, the must immediate question asked by almost the entire group was..How will I know that I am a writer? Write.
Poetry taught me how to condense language and to think in images. An image is powerful, enabling you to tuck it into the reader's mind where it takes a leap.  A good poem to me is when it happens inside the reader's mind,when they connect with something universal. No tears in the writer no tears in the they say. But it can't just be confessional or an emotional must take a leap..turn into something more.
At another writing workshop I tried my hand at short, short, story...beginning, middle, and end...kind of writing. A story that must also take a leap of some kind at the end. Oh boy, this is hard, I said. And it is.
It took this old lady a long time to see what is good writing. Only then was I able to get anywhere near to writing something that was passable. Not sure I have yet. I have had stories published in small presses and poems published in various venues and I've won third place for a poem in an anthology and an honorable mention for a postcard poem's submission. Not bad. But that has no influence on why I write. When I write I go somewhere known only to me..a place of pleasure...sort of a masturbation of the soul. This kind of masturbation will not make me go blind, quite the contrary, it opens my eyes.
I have learned to listen for found language.....things like bits of conversation overheard at a restaurant.
At the last workshop I attended in Door County, at the end of the week, we had a one on one with the teacher. Tell me, he asked, what have you learned this week that you didn't know before?
I learned about story. Look for the story in everything. It doesn't have to be something that actually happened. Search for the universal in the story.
So when I write a Magpie or Microfiction Monday, or a Wednesday Poem
and people think I am writing about myself.....I guess that it is a good thing. I have moved them.
And that is what a good story or poem does.
Thanks readers...I guess I am doing something right...or is it write?


  1. i can't thank you enough for removing the 'veil' so that others, like myself, can truly see where this awesome writing of yours came!
    suz, i wouldn't change one single thing about your writing EXCEPT that you won't stop!! it's profound, deeply moving, and always has me coming back for more...fascinating!!!

  2. So cool Suz. I'd say you've grown tremendously since starting the magpie tales but I think it has more to do with you just letting yourself go. Love your writing.

  3. Sheri,thanks, I guess I just didn't want people to think I an the "I" in my stories or poems.
    It's writing.
    Elena, don't mix up my blog with my writing of fiction. My blog contains both...truth and writing...My blog was started as another means of expression and to connect with others who are experiencing the same thing or have experienced the same thing..Life is a contant Begin Again for me...So I thought maybe it was this way for others too..
    I "write" daily...sometimes a lot and sometimes not so much. Challenges like Magpie and Microfiction are fun and they get the old mind working...and I am grateful for there truth in them..of course...but they are story first. It also has given me the chance to meet such wonderful writers...whether they know it or not...and I loved to be moved too.
    I have been working on two books for the longest time...changed my mind about them several times..Don't think I'll ever finish them...but it is the process
    that I love...and a byproduct is that I learn so much about myself.
    So thank you for thinking I now have an're sweet for liking my letting go..but the outlet and letting go have always resided in the pen and paper always before me.

  4. You are a wonderful writer. I always love what you write. You have a way with words. I am so proud of you for challenging yourself in your writing.

  5. Thank you for this post today .... I need to get myself into a writing class. A lot of what I do really is dribble ~ kind of a purge. Not the best way to approach creativity.

  6. you do. write right. thank you.

    funny how some things come relatively late in life... i thought for a long (too long) time that i hated writing and always found it frustrating. actually, it was my english teacher who encouraged me to explore my talent and eventually i started to enjoy writing and discovered i was best at the shortest of forms. what is puzzling even to me is that my muse speaks english and not my mother's tongue

  7. Whatever you're doing keep it up. I love reading what you write!!

  8. Yes, I love your writing, what you create is so solid. It doesn't really matter, does it....real or not real, it is that place you go and invite the reader to share. For sure you are! It is a real pleasure to read what you write. And who's to say, I think sometimes we don't even know what we are writing, or the power it might have.

  9. One more little thing, you are a writer, a very good writer, young or old, again who's to say? Your work does have a wisdom, that might only come with a certain number of days?

  10. i attended a writers workshop for years...

    one of my favorite things to do was to listen to people's conversations in a movie theater before the movie starts...still a favorite...


  11. I thoroughly enjoy every single piece you write...all of them. And yes, it a process, and something you must study. But, no matter how many lessons or hours of practice a singer may invest, you can only sing opera if you have The Gift.
    And you my friend, definitly have The Gift of writing.

  12. Red, thanks friend for saying that

  13. Excellent post, Suz! I think there are many, many 'women of a certain' age out there who have lots to say and aren't sure how to begin. I hope they all read your post and take it to heart.

  14. I thank you Suz. Your entry is spot on for old gals like myself who do not have a clue. You are an inspiration and a joy to read. You have the 'Gift' as Red says, and you share it gracefully. Well done.

  15. I have enjoyed reading this post - I would so love to be able to write. It never interested me before as I always had the "I can't write to save myself' attitude, I still can't write but my attitude and interest has.

  16. Thank you for sharing this with us, Suz. Your poetry and stories are always so inspired, full of beautiful imagery, and emotion. It is lovely to read where that journey started and the writing road you've been travelling ever since.

  17. This is so well done! You told quite a tale and painted a stark visual in really very few words. I really enjoyed it.


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