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Monday, 30 March 2015

A Muse

By Sharon Ostrow who blogs at It's All About the Journey

Written words can get worn out like mismatched socks in the back a dresser drawer; or stale like a loaf of old bread growing moldy in the breadbox. Words are not always adequate to express what needs to be articulated or communicated.

Sometimes my pen collects dust on the desk along with the empty pad of paper or the computer screen stares back at me with its blank screen. Why try? I say to myself. There is no point in this. Who cares what I have to say? What can be expressed that hasn’t been said before?

I would have to spend every minute of my life writing to complete my opus. As it is, my existence with all its distractions keeps knocking me off task. On the other hand if it wasn’t for daily life what would there be to express?

I’ve often thought that the creative process is much like being pregnant; from the conception of an idea, through the labor of writing to the birth of the finished work. I am also protective of my “babies” before I send them out into the world whether they are poems, essays to contests or blog posts.

I have a couple of writer friends who are willing to read my work and offer reflections but not everyone gets as excited as I do. I have emailed posts or links to my blogs to friends or family expecting an immediate response and what I get is, “I haven’t had time to read your email” or “I saved your post to read another time. I am really busy.”

People have busy lives; I have come to terms with that. I continue writing every day on whatever the muse brings forth and she can be elusive or demanding at any given moment. The point is to make myself available.

Memoirs, like all stories, need to have focus; a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is my biggest challenge, this focus.

I imagine there are those who are curious about what it was like living in a religious cult or how I recovered from years of domestic violence as a battered woman. Where do I start?

My personal story has taken on a life of its own and now that I have perspective (and hopefully some wisdom), maybe my story will inspire or give encouragement to another and make a difference is someone’s life.

There is always the question; fact or fiction? Maybe it isn’t a memoir that I should be writing but a work of fiction; changing the names to protect the privacy of those I have known over the years.

No matter. For me it’s all about the journey. I write because I believe words can give hope, healing and voice the universal and serves a purpose that is larger than my individual life.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Well you have helped me with this share. I usually arise, read the paper and get all worked up over something locally going on. I just wrote one, read it twice and sent it in. It is in the paper today, but without my (according to me) great title.
"Beachy Keen" was my title, and "Giving away or going away" was theirs.

I guess that is what I get when I write Letters to the Editor.

Thanks for this wonderful autobiography.

I asked a rabbi recently why the ancient peoples set things down in writing. Did they wish to record history, current events? Or, was it perhaps to create literature? He said he didn't think we should really look at the Bible through either of those lenses. So, after giving that some deep thought, my own answer to this question is that they wrote to say, "We are here." Keep writing, Sharon, you need no reason, you ARE the reason. Thank you.

well gosh, a typo. Darn it. In the back a dresser drawer????

Ah well.

Thank you Wendl Kornfeld and joanne zimmerman. I love reading comments.

Sharon, you have articulated it all extremely well: the protectiveness toward your 'babies," the doldrums when it seems it must have already been said, the hopefulness when you send your thoughts out.

I have just discovered a most appreciative audience for my own writing. This month I got
hearing aids. My voice sounds very strange to me. The hearing aid person who learned I write poetry said I should spend 30 minutes daily reading it aloud to myself.

This works very well as I revise every time I read so I actually spend more time at it and feel I'm accomplishing something at the same time.

This post was edifying to me because some of me was in it. I write because I want it known that I was here--my family was here. For a brief time, we are the caretakers of this family. I'd like for future generations to know how we did it during our era. When I set my pen down, my hope is someone will pick it up and dip it in the ink well.

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