Wild Abandon, Word-Dancers. That's What We Need

Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

I’ve spent the past week pondering what I want to do with this blog.  I quickly decided I wanted to keep going because, truth be told, I’d really miss it – both as connection to all of you and as writing practice. So that was settled.

But then, I had a lot to consider. Would I write personal stories? Would I write pieces on the craft of writing? Would I write more about the writing life?

Here’s what I’m come, too.

I want to inspire, to encourage, to nudge, and to share.  

What That Means

For me, I’ll be writing from my heart about what it means to be an artist in this world. I’ll be writing about what the life of words brings to the people who practice and the people who read it. I’ll be writing about the joy of this work and the heart-breaking word of it, too.  I’ll be writing tips, occasionally, about creating a practice that serves you and your readers.

All of it from my wide-open, orange-glowing heart.  

I’ll tell you stories about what it’s like to write and edit books, about what inspires me, about what breaks me down.  I’ll share the work and words of other artists who fill me up and push me out into new fields of flowers that I hadn’t considered.

Over on my Facebook page, I’ll be writing a bit of craft guidance from time to time and sharing most days a bit of what my daily writing life looks like, and I always share links about books and writing in general there, too. So come follow me there for more nitty-gritty things.

But here, in this open space, I want the truest aspect of public me to thrive. That aspect of me isn’t usually about advice; it’s about vulnerability and honest and the truth-telling about this life as a writer.

What I Learned about All This from So You Think You Can Dance

So You Think You Can Dance has been my summer joy since its first season. I love dance – although I don’t understand it complete and can do it not at all. But there’s something about the combination of precision and technique combined with wildness and physicality that charges me up.

Maybe it’s because all of that is true for writing, too.

Yesterday, I watched Monday’s episode (the glory of a DVR), and I marveled at the way that Logan and Taylor – two of this year’s young dancers – threw themselves into the joy of a love story told through the dance of their bodies. They were vibrant and free, and while their movement was trained and beautiful, it was also unencumbered and driven by the heart.

That’s what I think great writing: heart-driven, wild work that is undergirded by craft and style. You can’t have good writing without good craft and style, but you can’t have great, heart-rending, soul-bouncing writing without heart and wildness.

So today, as I watched those dancers let go and trust that their training would catch them, I felt something in my soul shift a tiny bit closer to whole.

We need that as writers, my friends – wild play, joyful abandon, and the trust that the words will not fail to catch our feet beneath it. That’s heart work, writers, not head work. . . and I want to be about touching orange-glowing hearts.

There are lots of wonderful people who teach the craft of writing so well, and over on Facebook I’ll point you to them. But here, in my space, we’re dancing our hearts out with our words.

Word-dancers, do your thing!