On, In, and Around Mondays: Writer Asking for Much
When writing a book, an article, even a blog post, we must choose an angle. We must offer the reader something he or she wants. I know that. Still, I find it hard.
I find it hard, because I write for a questionable reason: the desire to connect. And when I choose an angle, I risk that connection. Somebody isn't going to want to hang around for a 12-week course, for instance. So the relationship I've been cultivating with a reader suddenly has a little hole in it.
I should not care about this, but I do. Every writer has her struggles.
Can I be honest? I wish that my readers would seek a body of work, not a particular angle. I wish that they would read the beginning of the story, even though it doesn't come with formulas. I wish that they would read the poetry, so they could see the small moments inside the larger ones. And I wish that the promise of a 12-week course wouldn't scare them away from the story of the yard itself. I wish to be understood as something of an oak tree, like the one that grew on Luci Shaw's front lawn— which had its many parts, visible and invisible, as it moved through seasons and even to its death.
I think what I really want is for readers to take the metaphorical view that Shaw speaks of, that "sees the world not as reducible to verbal proposition but as multi-leveled, complex, rich, its mystery capable only of being pierced and presented as imagery." Yes, I want my readers to forget about writing-angles and simply come for the stones, the yard, and (soon) the water.
This is idealistic, I know. It is asking readers to commit to a long-term relationship, the way I have committed to it as the writer who serves them. The Market does not promote this kind of relationship, nor does it necessarily focus on art, imagination, and spirit (breath for the bones).
I am asking for much. But maybe this is what makes me an artist— asking for connection that penetrates surfaces and tangles with earth... like Luci's oak tree.
Over at The High Calling, we're walking beside each other, discussing Luci Shaw's Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination and Spirit: A Reflection on Creativity and Faith. Want to join us?
On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.
If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)
This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...