I started working on Truly again yesterday. It's a writing time. I can always feel them coming. Times like this usually follow a large emotional expenditure. I have a lot of these :)
Oftentimes, writing is like a relief valve. When the pressure gets too high the need to write becomes very intense and somehow it evens things back out. It may be songs or poems or fiction or letters to good friends, but the need is there, palpable and aching.
I heard a quote once that said "Peace is the potting soil for revelation" and if we believe that writing is a creative, even revelatory work - where ideas flow to us and through us for the purpose of a greater understanding - then peace is an important factor in readying our hearts and minds for what is to come.
Can chaos also be a sort of potting soil? Order is born of it and change often comes from it. My question is - do these two different circumstances produce different kinds of writing? Different in quantity or even quality? Or are they merely two different catalysts for the same end reaction?
Do people who write from a place of inner turmoil (ie. a person who has suffered a trauma being encouraged to write about it) produce a different sort of work that is any more or less emotional or connective to a reader's heart than someone who has never experienced deep pain? If Lance Armstrong hadn't battled through brain cancer and come back to win the Tour de France would anyone have wanted to read his book? Or any other biography or memoir out there for that matter?
These are the questions rattling around in my brain this morning, and I believe the answers are layered and complex. Writing from a place of turmoil can be cathartic and emotionally charged but it can also lack the perspective gained from allowing our lives to season properly. Writing from a place of peace and quiet can be rhythmic and comforting but can sometimes lack depth. And then there are times of non-writing - which I firmly believe in. Time spent living and experiencing life. Time spent soaking and allowing our hearts to be molded and changed without pressuring ourselves to write it all down in a sort of disjointed, stream-of-consciousness play-by-play. Time to let life sit.
As with most things, balance seems to be the key - not to mention a fantastic editor! Sometimes the easy writing needs more tension and the tense writing needs to be stretched and balanced. It's all part of the process - all are vital pieces to a complicated and deeply personal puzzle. It's up to each writer to find their rhythm and keep their perspective strong and balanced.
I'm not sure I get it right most days. I feel the need and the want to write way more often than life allows me to act on it, but for me that seems to work too. At the moment I'm writing again, and it feels Truly fantastic ;)
Lynda Meyers a.k.a. Madison Richards is the author of Letters From The Ledge, which is available through major retailers, Amazon, and for Kindle, Nook and iBooks. Her next book is titled "truly." and is due to release Christmas 2012. She blogs here and there and can be found occasionally lurking around the Master's Artist, Facebook and Twitter. She lives and writes in New York.