Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog: What keeps me writing?


Welcome to our next installment of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog! Be sure to check out last week's post by Laura Diamond. Next week's post will be by Danyelle Leafty, the week after that, Zoe Courtman!

Today I'm to tackle "What Keeps Me Writing?"

My answer? In short, it's to make the invisible visible.

For the long answer, I'll quote Nabokov:

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.

I write because in my wee brain there is this story, with thoughts and feelings and happenings and I can't wait to get it on paper. But it's not as simple as that. Oh no. It's not really visible until it's polished, the unnecessary words and clich├ęs have been trimmed, and the Gunk-That-Is-Lydia's-Bad-Writing is purged.

Sometimes after I finish a phrase, or a paragraph, or a chapter, I get that warm fuzziness in my belly, telling me that I've truly made the invisible visible. It's like, "Aahhhhh. Get me a cup of tea and a Whole Foods chocolate truffle. Yes!"

Here's an example. I wanted to say "When a person has a prejudice, even hearing the truth sometimes won't change their perspective." But I needed to write it so it reflected the feel of my piece (set in the American frontier of 1834). And here's what I finally got:

"When a mind is full of fear and fat stories, truth is swatted away like a buzzing fly."

There it is, that miraculous feeling. Now. Where's that truffle?

27 comments:

Christine Fonseca said...

I LOVE that...to make the invisible, visible. You ROCK.

JustineDell said...

Oh, SO TRUE! The words are there, just make them visable. I'm totally printing that out and hanging it over my computer!

~JD

Jaydee Morgan said...

Yes, it feels wonderful when the right words come and fit into place. I like your sentence. Great job!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great post. I love the making the invisible, visible too :)

Nisa said...

That is terrific! I love all the quotes and your reason is simply true and beautiful!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great post! I write because it's like air to me. :)

kir said...

I am Nabokov-obsessed and had never seen that quote! I love it. I'm going to remind myself of this as I stare at my blank page today.

Susan R. Mills said...

That's a great way of putting it...making the invisible visible. Here's to that warm fuzzy feeling!

Talli Roland said...

The warm fuzzy! I love it (and truffles, too).

Cynthia Reese said...

Very cool imagery!

lbdiamond said...

Guess I gotta stop using invisible ink! ;)

GREAT POST!!!!!

Kat Harris said...

That's fantastic!


Mmmmm truffles. :-)

Sandy Shin said...

Love that quote. It's so true: to write is to make visible something invisible. The feeling of getting a word, a sentence, a paragraph just right is incredible, and I agree that even when it won't make a difference, just the act of writing things down makes a difference for me personally. :]

Mayowa said...

Great post Meez Kang. You've captured why we do what we do in an excellent fashion.

Hope you enjoyed the truffles :)

Deb Salisbury said...

Oooh! You deserve that truffle. Love the analogy!

Maggie said...

Good post! And yummm, trufflessss. *drools*

Also, you've been tagged on my blog. :P

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Oh, man - great quote! I *love* it when that happens, that miraculous feeling. Great post :D

Lola Sharp said...

Warm fuzziness, truffles, reasons enough to write!

~Lola

SAMUEL PARK said...

Yes--that is a VERY satisfying feeling. I often wonder about the neurological side of it--what part of the brain gets "fed." Thanks for another great post!

Crimey said...

To make invisible words visible. That's the spirit. I write too because the characters and stories must get out of my head onto the paper/computer screen.

Thanks for joining my blog!

Paul C said...

I really like the transformation you made with the statement about the person with prejudice... "When a mind is full of fear and fat stories, truth is swatted away like a buzzing fly." (It deserves to be reprinted.)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Excellent post, Lydia. =o) I love how you re-worded that sentence. Now I want to read more.

Jemi Fraser said...

Very true post - it is such a great fuzzy feeling when you 'get it'. :)

Elaine AM Smith said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting Lydia.
Nobokov has a point - how often has that been said? ;) I buy note books just so I have a range of blank pages whispering the stories they should contain.

Can you distill the image further?

"When a mind is full of fear, truth is swatted away like a buzzing fly."

Jayne said...

Hello Lydia. Thank you so much for coming by my blog and leaving a comment - much appreciated, as now it has led me here too! :)

I am all for the warm fuzzy personally. And the chocolate truffle!

Matthew Rush said...

Hi Lydia. I cam here from Zoe's awesome blog and guess what?

I am your 100th follower!

Danyelle said...

Sorry for missing this last week. :S

I love the idea of making the invisible visible. I like your example of what you wanted to say and how it came out--I can picture it perfectly. :D

 
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