sometimes it's not yet time to write something

last week i was at my friend’s place for her second salon for her forthcoming book on play and power. as we were discussing, she said explained an experience she had during the writing process that really resonated with me.

she said that as she writing out certain chapters, she would get to a point and just get stuck. there was something that she just couldn’t write her way through. she found, over time, that it was often one of two reasons. either she had a question that she didn’t know the answer to or because she wrote something that she didn’t know to be true experientially.

i have absolutely been stuck in the former question before, but i totally didn’t know what it was. i think i may have also been stuck in the latter before, but i’d need to think about it to confirm.

anyway, these two reasons for getting stuck in a writing process remind me of another sentiment i heard some other writer say on a podcast once: “sometimes the time hasn’t yet come to write about a particular thing. don’t force it. if it’s meant to come out, when it’s ready, you won’t be able to stop it.”

and now that reminds me of something i heard a poet say (paraphrasing here) on about how writing poetry can be like catching a gift from the universe. that it’s really about learning how to be an open vessel so that when a poem is floating on the winds of the universe, when that wind crosses your face, you’re ready to feel it, catch it, write it down.

As [Stone] was growing up in rural Virginia, she would be out, working in the fields and she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape. It was like a thunderous train of air and it would come barreling down at her over the landscape. And when she felt it coming…cause it would shake the earth under her feet, she knew she had only one thing to do at that point. That was to, in her words, “run like hell” to the house as she would be chased by this poem. The whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it and grab it on the page. Other times she wouldn’t be fast enough, so she would be running and running, and she wouldn’t get to the house, and the poem would barrel through her and she would miss it, and it would “continue on across the landscape looking for another poet. – Elizabeth Gilbert discussing an interview she had with Ruth Stone

this vessel analogy (across many spectra) is feeling increasingly important these days… hm!

words / writing / post-processing
284w / 11min / 6min