“Anything we fully do is an alone journey”—Natalie Goldberg
My card making “skills” (if I dare use the word skills) are well known among my circle of friends. If my kids are reading this they’re having a good chuckle. The truth is, at a friends urging, I once made a card that shall we say….well, maybe we won’t say.
My oldest daughter wanted me to scan it and send her a copy. Not on your life! I’m sure that scanned imagine would have been plastered all over cyberspace. (I know my kids well!) For some reason I hid the darn thing. I have no idea where. Maybe it ended up being burned in the wood stove although, knowing me, it will resurface at some time or other, and we’ll have another round of laughs over it. I really don’t mind. If we can’t stand to laugh at ourselves once on awhile, then I say we’re too darn serious.
My friends make beautiful homemade cards that are simply gorgeous. It’s a treat just to be able to look at them. I, on the other hand, do not have the inclination to work at and hone my card-making “skills”—there’s that word again. Not to mention the fact that it would be very time consuming, I could never imagine myself sitting around with a group of people crafting homemade cards. I do not particularly like having others watch me while I work. So unless I could go off into a corner some place and hide…..But then, I wouldn’t be able to learn all the ins and outs of card-making, how to use the different gadgets that produce some of the most intricate cards I’ve ever seen. (My friends are really talented.)
In a way this reminds me of Natalie Goldberg’s quote. I do feel as though the time spent on our artistic endeavours is an “alone journey.”
Writing has always felt like such a solitary thing for me, and in many ways it is. Even if we are sharing our work along the way, we are the only ones who can actually write the story. Receiving input from others does not minimize the work that writers have to do all on their own. We are the only ones who can get inside that story and bring it fully to life. People might make suggestions, but in the end we do the work, choose the words, and construct the sentences. We write the story. We take our story on it’s own path, we walk with it, hold its hand and we don’t stop until we reach our final destination, and we do it alone.
I’ve mentioned before that until recently I’d never shared my WIP with anyone. I think it’s wonderful for those writers who have critique partners or writing groups to share their work with and bounce ideas off of. To have such people that you feel comfortable with sounds amazing. They all seem very brave to me. Call me chicken. I’d find that very difficult to do, although I suspect that after that initial plunge it would become easier as time goes on.
For the writers out there, do you agree that writing is an “alone journey?” And do you share your work with others along the way?