Saturday, November 20, 2004


It’s rare that I write two blogs in a day. However there were two waiting to happen so here you are. This one is on the simple joy of writing. Is writing words on a page (or typing on a computer) simple? Easy? Not by a long shot!

Years ago a dear friend of mine challenged me to write. I had never written anything before….didn’t keep a diary growing up, hated writing papers in school. I was a music performance major….why would I ever want to waste time writing when I could be playing? Every spare second I was at my instrument(s) practicing, perfecting, getting ready for a concert or audition. Taking time out to write what I though was out of the question. And even when I went back to school to study training and development and human behaviour, I hated having to write papers on it. I would much rather discuss and listen and share ideas and concepts with others. To write them down made them concrete, unchangeable. And behaviours are ever changing and morphing with every passing minute. How could I get that on paper?

In one way I was too critical. If it couldn’t perfectly represent my thoughts and feeling in a very grammatically correct way, I wouldn’t write them. Until one day when my friend wrote me an email challenging me to write back. No specific topic, just what I was thinking at that moment in time. And when I wasn’t forthcoming with an answer, two more emails and a phone call followed, pretty much daring me to write.

So I looked out the window at an incredible sky streaked with colour and decided to write about that. I described how it looked as though someone ‘up there’ took a paint brush and stroked the sky with a myriad of colours. I wrote what I saw…felt. No grammar, just words to create a picture.

I haven’t stopped writing since.

"I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear." - Joan Didion. This describes exactly why I write.

I write for me and if others enjoy what I write, then wonderful! But they aren’t the criteria for writing. I just share my words with you in case it might spur you on to writing as well and sharing your insights, thoughts and feelings with others who might feel the same way and realise they have a kindred spirit somewhere out there. Through writing I constantly have new insights and perspectives. I now write blogs, material for clients, letters just because….

I write lists of things I love, things I will do in the future as in to experience not shop for groceries. I write about how meeting someone new made me feel or someone who’s been in my life forever has enriched it. I just write. And when I removed all restrictions i.e. ‘proper grammar’ and sentence structure (I drive my son crazy when I put … in a sentence) I write for the joy of it not the parameters I can set to it.

Do you know the best part of writing this blog? The comments and letters I get back from all over the world. When I write, it gives way for others to share their insights back. And through them I see what I wrote in yet another way, write back and in some instances have made friends from the other end of the world. All through words. Simple words. It’s freeing. It's illuminating!

"A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream." - Gaston Bachelard

The topic possibilities are endless. Why don't you give it a try? And if you do...please let me know.

Donna Karlin

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