Why Writing Matters

It’s 3 am and I’m wide awake. I don’t know why, but I just can’t sleep. So I opened my laptap and stumbled upon a digital journal entry from January, 2014:

So, it’s late. I must get some sleep—that’s my New Year’s resolution, to go to bed earlier, but I had this thought the other night and I wanted to write it down, but didn’t, so now that I’m here, I must do it.

This week I will bury my little “Grand”. Whenever I say that I feel a heaviness and I’m a little bit surprised that I’m saying it…and that it’s true. It’s a truth I always dreaded, but knew would come. It’s a reality that makes me so very sad that I really want to cry. Yes she was 100 and her health was failing, but I want to cry for all the moments that  will never be repeated. I want to cry for all the phone calls I didn’t make, all the visits I passed on, all the times I should have sat still long enough to listen to her and talk to her…I’m sad for all the times I did stop to listen and talk. For all the phone calls and visits I did makes because they are just memories now. The last visit was just a month or so ago. I held her hand and kissed her cheek and I knew it would probably be the last time…

What I’ve been wanting to write down was something she wrote down. On the back of a deposit slip in her checkbook she wrote: “Marge died today” and the date. It’s not profound, but it is. Why did she write that? Because she knew her memory was slipping away, but she wanted to remember…remember her daughter, Marge. Remember her daughter’s death as well as her life. She wanted to memorialize her, but what could she do? Her own health and memory were slipping. So she found the nearest pen and slip of paper and she put it in black and white. There it will stay. At least for longer than any of us will stay, Marge, Grand, and the rest of us who are following close behind. “Marge died today” she wrote.  So matter of fact. So devoid of emotion, and yet I think she may have written it with a tear or at least a sadness and heaviness of heart. 

On January 1st (2014) I got the news and the tug on my heart was so strong that the flood of tears could not be contained. I knew it was coming but I had hoped I was wrong. The day slipped away before I could find a slip of paper, or a computer screen on which to write: “Alice died today,” but I thought about it. I wanted to memorialize her in this way, put it in black and white. For me. To remember. She’s gone and my heart is heavy. I will miss her in so many ways on so many days. She died but she lives forever in me and, now, in these words that I have written.

Writing matters because words last longer than memories. We must write to record our histories, to preserve our memories, to protect those moments of genius that fade away if we choose to sleep rather than roll out of bed and grab a pen and the nearest slip of paper.

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Coffee with WritingWingsforYou — Poet’s Corner

This was composed spontaneously as a comment to a post from my friend Marie from WritingWingsforYou.com. In the post she asked what one would say if they sat down with her for coffee and the following presented itself to me.

via Coffee with WritingWingsforYou — Poet’s Corner

Such a lovely poem, thank you for sharing! Click here for more on Books & Coffee

Welcome!

What? A blog about “books and coffee”? Well, yes and no.  This is really a blog for “writers and wordies”—and what’s a “wordie,” you ask?  Well, it’s the same as a “foodie,” except substitute “food” with “words”–PRESTO!—it’s a “wordie.”  That’s me! A lover of food and words. So, I’m a foodie wordie…or a wordie foodie…

Anyway! There are a few things I love—aside from those really important ones like God and family—and that’s reading, writing and sipping a warm cup of creamy, sweet—but not too sweet—coffee, or tea or anything warm! Throw in a bowl of Atlanta Bread Company butternut squash soup and a wedge of crusty sour dough and I’m a happy girl!

So, this blog is really a place for me to talk about writing, to share tips and insights into what makes good writing and to put those principles into practice.  As a professor of English for over a decade I know a thing or two about what works—and what doesn’t—but as a writer who teaches writing, I also realize that I have to practice what I preach!  The way to improve your writing is to write! So, I’m inviting you to share this journey with me.

Journey?

As I said, I’m a “writer” but I spend more of my life helping others to write than I do honing my own skill. I’ve declared myself to be a writer, but I don’t write nearly enough.  Thus, as I kick off this blog I am doing so as a way to challenge myself to write more regularly and to put my writing out there for critique. Beginning in January 2017 I will be on a 12-month challenge to post something to the blog each week—whether it’s once a week or 5 times a week.  So, here’s what you can expect:

Writer’s Block challenge—at least once per month join me for a Writer’s Block challenge. I’ll set a short-term goal to write a certain thing—for example opening lines for a short story or a piece of microfiction from the prompts in Brian Klems and Zachary Petit’s Bootcamp of Writing Prompts—and I’ll invite you to do the same!

Writing 101—I’ll share info that has helped my students over the years. “How to’s” that every writer should master.

Writing Samples—I’ll also share creative pieces that I’m working on and invite your critique.

Plus, any writer’s info that I come across that I think would be useful to share, and occasionally some commentary and stories on other topics of general interest.

How’s that sound?

What I look forward to most is connecting with other writers, aspiring writers and students of writing because I work best through dialogue. We learn from one another and our experiences are enriched by collaboration. So, grab a warm cup of joe and join me over Books & Coffee!

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