Monday, October 15, 2012

The Watcher In Writing

In high school, my favorite English teacher had us read 'Watcher at the Gates'.  This article came to mind today, as I fidgeted in front of my computer screen, scrolling through drafts of posts that are written but have never been given a final click.  I too have a watcher.

In this space, there is a struggle.  To tell the truth, or to keep the heavy stuff to myself?  And it is a dilemma that I've found myself fighting for months.  On the one hand, I believe writing saves.  It's been a lifeline for me, therapy, an exercise of hope.  I also believe that to share such writing with anyone who lands upon it is an exercise of courage, vulnerability; a leap into the dark.  When I let myself get there.  But because the move is bold and requires a certain braveness, I've been placing this space in tight parameters, keeping my eye on where it goes, rarely giving it an un-restrictive pass.

I consider my own watcher; who he/she is, what they're after, why they want to stop me from being productive, and fully honest in my own space?  My mind floods over stories, stories that I'd like to tell, but the watcher keeps his finger pressed firm to the cover.  He shakes his head at me, saying, it's not worth it.  No one cares.  Why do you still think about that?  Move on, just move on.  Are you sure you can even call yourself a writer?  What is this stuff?  And that's about the time I hit save and close the draft.

To open a vein, so to speak, and let the words fall out onto the white space, over the interwebs to a stranger, a friend, a loved one, has power.  It's why I read the words from other blogger friends.  It's why I believe in writing.  It's why I want to teach writing.  It's why I know I have a duty to write.

To write uninhibited and free with courage is what's on the other side of this struggle that has pooled up around me, soaking my shoes, causing my feet to grow cold.  It's the place that I believe I'm supposed to be; a place to channel and navigate if I am to be a good writer.  Although my watcher tells me, don't worry about the truth...find something else to write about,  I know better.  I know better than to succumb to a fear of the truth, or what that might look like in curved, heavy letters, strung across a clean white page.

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7 comments:

Allisunny S. October 15, 2012 at 8:13 AM  

Do not be afraid: masterful work is rooted in some sort of truth; you'll find the right place inside to mine it.

Xo
A

Cassie October 15, 2012 at 9:56 AM  

Sunny- that's good. thank you.

Audrey October 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM  

Hi Cassie, I had a writing class my freshman year of college and my professor told me something that I always remember. I was having a really tough year and felt that I was struggling HARD in this class. I got my grades and was ASTOUNDED to find I got an "A". I'd even turned a paper in a week late during a particularly rough patch. I went to speak with him because I thought he'd made a mistake. He said to me: "Audrey, I know you've had a tough semester but your writing has been amazing. I find that the best writing is what you write when you're most emotional." I was rather shocked at the time but I find over and over again that he was right. And I think the truth, combined with that emotion, does tend to bring out the best writing. Lovely post.

charla beth October 15, 2012 at 11:11 AM  

wow. i'm so glad i came here today. this is amazing.

i, too, have a watcher. a series of un-finished, un-posted drafts in my account that i once was proud of and now fear to share.

i hope you find the courage to keep writing, to reject fear, to be exactly who you are with no second thoughts or doubts. even when you share things like this...it's inspiring. empowering. don't stop:)

Shantel S. October 16, 2012 at 6:27 AM  

Dear Cassie,
I remember your kind words after a difficult post I decided to publish regarding divorce and the pain that comes with it (for everyone). Your words brought me such comfort and ultimately encouraged me to keep the post up despite a person with some harsh words, due to their own pain. Everyone has a story worth telling, but not everyone has the ability to string lovely words together and touch others too.

Best,
Shantel

Connie October 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM  

Beautiful, Hon--Sincere, heartfelt, and courageous.

Cassie October 16, 2012 at 11:08 PM  

Audrey, Charla and Shantel messages are on there way...xx

Thanks, Mom. xx

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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