Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ha! Take that.

I've been blogging more than a decade, and sometimes I still sit here wondering what to write about. My friend posted a great link with questions to help with About Me pages. I thought it might be fun to answer the questions as a blog series. I've done similar before, and I always enjoy it.

Artist Statement - Part 1

1. Why do you do what you do?

I suppose this isn't about why I started writing, but about why I continue to write. It's the one area of my life where I feel at peace. It's not that I never struggle as a writer. I do. Lately I am on a veritable rollercoaster everyday. But I never question that this is what I am made to do. It feels right. I feel right when I am creating with words, whether it's a novel, a poem, or a post for this blog... Heck, sometimes, I revel in a finely crafted email reply. I still write people letters, longhand, for fun. I have been known to read the dictionary. I get excited over etymology. This is who I am.

2. How would you describe your own work?

Metaphor heavy. I love a good metaphor. I think I write poetry even when I'm writing prose. I also feel like my work is a reflection of my entire life experience, pieces of everything in a blender, spit out on paper in new form. My work is also searching. I am always using my writing to dig for answers.

3. Why did you choose the kind of materials you're currently working with?

For my purposes, this means fiction. For a long time, I thought I couldn't write fiction. I scribbled scenes but not stories. Instead, I wrote (and published) poems and essays. When I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, I blamed that for my inability to finish a novel. Then I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I read it, but I didn't act on it. It sat inside me.

Funny story: We were at a psyche office with my oldest son, back when we were trying to figure out some issues. I ended up really disliking that doctor, but something he said stuck with me. He saw my occupation on a form and asked, "How can you be a writer? You have ADHD." He was genuinely baffled. At the time, I explained that I wrote poems and essays. They didn't require a lengthy attention span. But the assumption that I couldn't do it ticked me off. Sometimes, I want to stop by his office and show him my stack of completed novel manuscripts. Ha! Take that.

Anywho, I decided to write a story for my stepdaughter for her 12th birthday. I used the Bird by Bird method, writing a scene at a time. Since I had a deadline and a purpose, I actually finished it. That was it. I was hooked. I have written quite a number of novels since then, though they are in various states of readiness. I feel good in this kind of writing. I no longer feel restless career-wise. This is it. This is my thing.


  1. I think he was a terrible doctor. I have ADHD or something like that (I was diagnosed as a child). I have written lots of stories from beginning to end. In some cases, it's like I can't stop until the story is finished and other times I know the ending and can't care enough to finish writing it because I already know how it ends. I believe that my brain was designed for creativity. I may be distractible but I can hold on to the weirdest details forever. Maybe I have something other than ADHD or not - I don't care. I just know God designed me for creativity and because of that I am filled with stories. I write because I don't know how not to. I need writing and creative moments like I need food and water.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. You just described me to a T. And he WAS a bad doctor. He was the first we saw and it was a negative experience from top to bottom. I wish I could blot him from my son's records.


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