Set fire to the words



I have read quite a bit recently from authors who don’t feel as though they are writers.

They share hopes and fears that: “One day I’ll be a real writer” “I’m working on becoming a writer” “Some day I’ll be good enough to consider publishing my work” “This is just my beginning work” “I’m not the best, but I’m sharing what I can”.

I’ve suffered with these fears and soft hopes for years myself.

And I long to tell them they are under an illusion, the illusion that there is some “right” way to write.  There is only one way to write, with your spirit blazing a trail of words across the page, the paper, the screen – does your heart and soul set the words on fire?

They, we, are already Writers.

When we feel as though we are waiting for “someday” to arrive when we magically feel as though we’re true writers we are giving in to the fear, giving in to the demons. Because there is no someday. The moment you pick up the pen, put your fingers to the keys, you are a Writer.

This doesn’t mean you can’t, or won’t, refine your work. Follow your subject of passion, Find your voice in the words, share your stories as the infinite magical, often harrowing, realms they can be.

I have read many, many books and articles on subjects I have a strong passion for, a love of reading about, and yet I find myself, often within the first chapter, falling asleep at the words crawling across the page. These writers, have been published, have even had MANY books published, may even be quite wealthy from their writing. And everyone acknowledges them as writers.

However, to me? They were more like parrots, reciting the words they’d heard or read or researched. They have no passion, no spirit involved in the work, and it shows.

Think of the best book, story, blog post, you’ve ever read – forget the subject of it, and think about what it made you feel, why it left you feeling that way. It’s unlikely due to the factual information, the perfect grammar, or even the background of the author – though they may all play a part in what you’re reading… What really drags us in, over and over again, is the feeling that the writer imparted, the passion they shared, for whatever they were writing about.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine. – Pablo Neruda

J.R.R. Tolkien took over ten years to write The Lord of the Rings, a story that is still to this day – 60 years after it was published, and decades after the authors death, ranked as one of the top books to multiple generations of people. He had a passion for the story, one so deep that when publishers “edited” his words in a version or two, he went back and made them reprint their “mistake”, to print it as he wrote it. Because this was his story, and that is what mattered. Not how he told it… Not whether anyone else would understand the elven language (though he spent years on a dictionary for that too, he was so involved in the tale), or be bothered by names like Mordor or Aragorn. His concern was that his story, his… story… was told as it was meant to be.

And think about that.. the editors/publishers were striving for some idea of perfect writing. Tolkien was striving for perfection in the tale, to be true to his ideas, his dreams, his Writing.

Tolkien is just one example of an author who wrote imperfectly, if you will, created a world like no other, and succeeded BECAUSE of his unique spirit coming through in to the story, on to the pages, in to our lives.

So next time you’re doubting your own writing skills, your grammar, your verbiage, punctuation, language, whatever is holding you back from sharing your self, your passion, Stop. Let go of the doubt. Move on to the words, the feeling you have that inspires you to write at all, and just open up.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—    – Emily Dickinson

If you feel a passion for disco dancing, write about that, write about the love you feel when you look at your lover, the trees outside, write about the way baking soda mixes with vinegar, write about the way your toes curl when the chocolate first hits your tongue, or fear you have of spiders, or just your fear. Bring to your words the fire alive in your soul. Whatever that may be, it doesn’t matter, what matters is how you feel about it, that’s what we read, that’s what we feel when we read. I don’t have to believe in God the way Rumi does to feel the immense divine love he shares, I don’t need to be a child wizard to enjoy reading Harry Potter, I don’t even have to be able to Cook to love reading a great cookbook.

I just have to sense the passion, the love, the sense of awe the author had at the story itself, to fall in love with the words.

Now go write, Let the music of your soul pour forth.

(And send me a link!! I love to read other people’s thoughts and dreams!)

“If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating.”
― Sylvia Plath, Ariel


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marié Bermudez
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 23:46:22

    I have no idea how pingbacks work, but I am glad that this was pingbacked on my blog. Thank you for this wonderful post. I hope that you inspire more writers as you have inspired me.


    • kintsugi999
      Nov 16, 2013 @ 01:22:21

      Interesting, I didn’t know it would cause a pingback like that! Love your blog, thank you, for sharing as you do..


  2. daniheart21
    Nov 30, 2013 @ 07:16:11

    Glad I found you…well more like you found me…and then I found you. giggles. I like Neruda a lot actually, and the quote from Plath =priceless. 🙂 I shall visit often.


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