Writing, for me, is pure: totally involving, pleasurable, existing only for itself, not the end product. In the same way I cherish hiking a trail in the woods early morning, eager to see cottontail rabbits leaping into the brush, or the joy I get pulling weeds in my flower garden--where the aromas of leaves and fresh dirt fill my nostrils--writing is an activity that fully absorbs me. When I finish, I'm flushed with pleasure.
Of course I learn a great deal about myself during the process: writing is a minute examination of some facet of living, subjecting it to the microscope. But while that is useful, it is the mental act of creating sentences and paragraphs or musing over structure that fills my heart with joy. I am a great rewriter, believing each revision only improves the draft; my heart lifts as each sentence receives its polish. Or even when I ruthlessly cut out phrases or larger chunks of writing. Read More