Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rediscovering A Writing Passion

For a while after finishing college I seemed to have lost my creative fuel and motivation when it came to writing.  Since I had so many other things going on, what with trying to figure out how to be an “adult”, I did not put much thought or worry into the fact that I no longer wrote.  I figured it was probably a natural progression of things, and if I had the urge I would just start writing again.  My biggest error was in not acknowledging the amount of creative stimulation I was surrounded by in school, and the fact that my own creative ability needed to be fed regularly. 
I know that some people have the discipline to get up every morning and utilize a scheduled writing time, every day, whether they are in the mood for it or not.  Though this method is not for me, I definitely see the value in it, and it sure beats ignoring your craft for years as I did. While in school I had the constant creative energy of writing workshops and discussions, arguments about politics and life and eternity.  Upon graduation I abruptly found myself without this constant fodder and instead of actively seeking it out I just let writing fade out.   My other problem was that because my main writing outlet had been poetry I never actually tried to branch out into other styles.  If I wasn’t writing poetry then I was just not meant to be writing at the time.  I know, I know stupid. 
It took not having so many distractions for me to notice that I was really lacking without having writing in my life.  When I started this blog I tapped back into that passion and I have not started seeking out more sources.  When I started reading “Will Write for Food” by Dianne Jacob, I got a little giddy.  As far as I can tell this is the only book around at the moment that is strictly about the act of writing about food, and though at times it is a little quote heavy, I find reading it to be pretty darned similar to being in a college writing class.  Not only is it a trove for other food writers, whose names I have been scribbling away on random scraps of paper to be added to this blog, there are also great ideas and writing exercises.  For someone who has been missing the stimulation of the classroom this book is perfect. 
The beauty of all of this, the blog and now reading the book, is that it has a snowball effect, I am now looking into taking a one day food writing workshop with one of my favorite local bloggers Garrett McCord of Vanilla Garlic, and seeing what else is out there.  Hopefully, more books on the subject will start coming out, and there will be more workshop in my area.  Though none of it will compare to the pleasure and privilege of spending large portions of my days on writing and talking about writing as I got to while in college, I am thrilled to have the act of writing back into my life.  For those of you that write, what do you do to keep the wheels constantly moving?
Some books you may enjoy:

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  1. I have actually learned to embrace the fallow periods. I also find that the less involved I am in electronic media -- esp. my Blackberry -- the more I'm prone to write. Also, it helps to have your notebook nearby.

  2. It hasn't been a full year yet, but I feel the the hole of not being surrounded by my MFA friends. Even the level of conversation was different and SO literary. We hardly ever talked without bringing up craft. I'm glad you found something which inspires you to keep writing. I can't wait to pick up a copy of it.