Intimacy in Writing

As I walked to work one day last week, I watched a man drive into the middle of a busy intersection, narrowly missing a bus. He was on the phone.

I stood there shaking my head as another woman commented that the phone conversation couldn’t have been that important. Then she said words that resounded in my head like the vibrations of a tympani:

“Whatever happened to the intimacy of quill and parchment?”

This statement stuck a chord with me because I do a great deal of my idea generation by hand. For me, a notebook and pen (or pencil) helps me get close to my writing. Like I’m sharing a part of myself that otherwise don’t show. Almost like writing in a diary.

I love the closeness it gives me to the writing. The feel of paper, the flow of glossy ink. It makes me feel connected to the developing story. Pushing my hand across the page mimics my pushing the hidden ideas to the surface. When I finally sit at the computer, I not only transpose what I wrote on the paper, but I’m so connected with the notes—what I call “story starts”—that the words emerge more fluidly.

And it was glorious...
And it was glorious…

Sometimes, we forget to be intimate with our writing. We do all of the other things on our lists, rushing around until we finally plop down in front of the computer and expect the words to flow forth with ease. And when they don’t we’re frustrated.

But is the time we’re spending at the computer quality time?

Imagine a relationship in which you ignore your Significant Other until you need something. Then expect that person to consistently provide what you need, and do it happily.

Umm, yeah… No.

If you’re having trouble with feeling inspired or finishing a project, spend a little intimate time with your craft. Don’t force it, but make notes of things that interest you: a song lyric, a character name, anything.  It doesn’t even have to be on paper, you can use a voice recorder. (If you write horror or erotica, I don’t suggest using the voice recorder when you’re in public. It could get you some unwanted attention.)

Keep these notes and read over them when you’re stuck. Let your own words inspire you.

Find a way to get closer to your writing. Maybe it’s changing your writing spot or imagining yourself with a successful publication… Or even writing in a genre you’ve never tackled before.

Just make sure to carve out a piece of your busy day to show your craft some love.

Happy Writing…

The above image is courtesy of the wonderful Mia at Nevermore Prints. Browse her Etsy store and have her create something special just for you. Nevermore Prints


2 thoughts on “Intimacy in Writing

  1. Reblogged this on Nico Serene and commented:
    I love this post and have been thinking about it for a few days. It’s that time of year that is most dangerous for me – back to school time where stores are packed with fresh notebooks and pens. And I have to hold myself in check from “buying ALL the shiny things!”.

    I still do this even though I have moved on to more technical ways to write down my story ideas and plot sketches. Lately it’s been trying out any kind of iPad / iPhone app available and seeing if that helps – does it have cross-device capabilities so I can access it from iPhone / iPad / computer? What if I am not in a wifi area? Does it sync with Dropbox? Does it alarms and alerts to notify me of deadlines? I get so wrapped up with finding the right app or tool that I still stick the my trusty notebook and pen in my purse with me wherever I go. Sure I can’t tag the pages for later searching but I do put the story name in the top right corner when leafing through quickly. And somehow, my ideas come out so much better when it’s me scribbling with a pen rather than wondering if I should use my stylus, virtual keyboard, or Bluetooth keyboard. Apps try to mimic the notebook and pen, and I have tried many of them, but when I need that intimacy? You still can’t get it any better than the real thing.

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