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The nature of writing


“As we jot down ideas, they shift and grow, spawning new ideas…puffs of cloud in an otherwise clear sky. Then, in a process that seems almost seething, the clouds begin to billow and roll, growing like the smoke from Aladdin’s lamp, until they have become towering masses of cumulus clouds. Throughout the process, the clouds continue to change from the back forward. Writing is recursive in this way. As we write, we change what we write. We go back and forth, changing words and sentences, moving paragraphs, adding, cutting, rewording.”

The Tao of Writing by Ralph L. Wahlstron

So true, as I complete a play meters from crashing sea waves I’m struck at how well nature metaphors work for writing, ideas swell and ebb, some threaten to be short lived eddies others promise great waves yet I don’t know why yet. This for me is the pleasure of a first draft of any piece of work, it’s (to use yet another nature metaphor) the various growth spurts that may wither, flower or take over the entire plant. Whatever your writing may your wisps, ripples and buds be plentiful.

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