Daily Writing

The purpose of this post is to encourage other people to write, because writing has a way of opening life to us that may not othewise happen. In it I tell you a bit about how and why I write —  I am a messy a writer  — in the hope that you will find your own way of writing, and that when you do you will see what a marvelous practice it is. And, maybe you will not be so messy as I am? Since finally getting out of school, for the final time, I hope, at the age of 62, I have been trying to figure out how  to transition into some kind of post-school life that finds a place for thoughtful writing, reading, reflection and conversation, without so much of the pressuring, terror that I associated with my doctoral program. I have seen other people, musicians, scholars…who once they emerge from some harrowing experience of learning, practice, etc. never actually return to it all. That part of life comes to an end. I have some friends, a couple who both have Ph.D’s and they know what this is about. How does some one who has spent a life time, either in school or in a profession that called for regular study, etc. make some kind of transition to something that still includes regular study…but not quite so much, and with less pressure, etc.? I really don’t know. One approach is what I am doing at this very moment, it is part of my new project to do “daily writing.” The idea came to me from the Faculty Writing Group that I am in at SU; it was part of our orientation sponsored by The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. So, does writing a blog “count” when one is trying to be a scholar and do serious reading and writing? I hope so; it is by far some of the most focused and enjoyable writing that I do. It is focused because of the structure and tools of a blog. It is enjoyable because some how this format seems to make it possible to write even a little, and in an unfinished form, without having to become too concerned about the final product, yet That is what “Save Draft” allows one to do. I was in a panic yesterday, mostly because I was comparing myself, as a writer and scholar,  with someone I am not, and failing to be who I am. That approach only gets me into trouble, whether it pertains to writing, or faith, or anything else. I have known this for a very long time, but it is still sinking in. (How long is this going to take?) “Slow learner” takes on a whole new meaning when it seems to be taking a lifetime to learn even the most basic things, such as this notion that I need to be who I am and stop looking  elsewhere for my core. This much I do know today: when writing comes from the core (body and soul), it redirects those wandering glances back where they belong. As inefficient a writer as I am, and that is very inefficient, this is still one of the best ways to sort out what is going on and how to make sense of life. It is not the only way, and I have to prepare  for this process by doing both bodily things outside or in the water, and creative things which allow the soul to take some kind of form and appear in public, in writing. There are ideas, understandings, questions, insights, and things for which there are only close approximations, and they only show up in my life on pages; either paper ones or screens such as this one. The reality that belongs to all of that is not here in this or any screen; it is elsewhere out in real life. But the time spent in reflection and pondering real life on pages and screens enhances real life by allowing us to step to the side long enough to notice something of what we are doing, or trying to do.

About kathrynrickert

Possibly from watching the movie Bambie at the age of 6, I have had a life-long awareness that saying ONLY nice things, does not make the world just or kind. Thus, my 2009 doctoral dissertation..."Talking Back to God" , is one of the main aspects of the work I do. Always interdisciplinary, seeking connections across borders that are usually marked with DO NOT ENTER, I seek to pay attention, pray, think, create,and imagine using biblical laments, Christian worship texts, and the ordinary stuff of everyday life.
This entry was posted in God at Work, God in the Media, God on the Inside. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Daily Writing

  1. My problem is that I have written a lot – and too often I cut and paste from the past and post it in my blog.

  2. Now I am determined to post something new.

  3. Sharon,

    I think that writing, like good food needs to be as fresh and local as possible. Of cource we do rewrite many of the same thoughts from the past, since they are part of us. But, if we are moving forward there will be newness in what we write. And, just the writing alone is good for the soul, even if no one but God reads it.

  4. Deep says:

    Who was it that said, “an unexamined life is a life not worth living?” I actually keep both a private journal and a public blog. Occasionally I transform a journal entry into a blog post, but more often I don’t. I agree, the writing is what matters, sometimes I judge others might enjoy the thoughts, and they wind up in blog form, other times, it remains just a private journal entry.

  5. I thought it was someone else, but apparently it is Socrates who made that very wise comment. Thanks Deep for your comment. I think that it is helpful to others to know how this writing comes about. I have a reflection I want to write today, but am not at all clear that others should read it. The balanace between what we write for ourselves and what we put out for other eyes is very interesting to me. I guess now I need to write it for myself and see what comes of it.
    Peace,

    K

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