realising I am not a writer

Summer is holding its sweaty, heavy hands against my heart and my face. I am trying to pick up words where ever I find them, and hide them in my pockets, before they melt away. But there is to be no rain for another week - and although we had some just the other day, it wasn't enough. It never is. I thirst endlessly for the sky.




I like to pretend that word-foraging is a part of writing, and I wish for weather to help me grow stories, poems, a novel. But the truth is, I'm not really a writer. It's just that I relate to the world through story. It's nice to write them down, share them with other people, but I don't really need the words on paper or a screen in order to breathe freely. The need is not for what my hands and mind do, it's for a deeper acceptance within myself about how I see and comprehend everything : through wild story. Rain helps me to unground myself and dream away into that story; into the magical spirit of the world.




I suppose I was born this way, or perhaps raised to it by the hills and old weather, but in any case I've been thinking lately that the old wisdom ... if you want to be a writer, you must read a lot ... wasn't true for me. Oh, I read, but only a few books (fairy tales, myths and legends) over and over. And once I got to school the books were not particularly good. Perhaps it was this lack of quality literature that made me want to be a writer.

And the lack too of natural story, for no one told me the species of trees or scouted for fairies with me. I was barefoot and allowed to roam wild, unrestricted by names and conventions. In that silence of freedom, I made my own names, my own understandings in the form of stories. And it became a language of its own, a way of being in the world.

So storytelling can be something so much more than writing.


(further elucidation in the comments section)

7 comments:

  1. I reflected yesterday about how I seemed to have written a lot more during the months when it was raining. Even snow doesn't make the feel the way rain does, doesn't make me want to write and create poetry quite as much. Maybe something is released in the world through rain, and so also is released in me.

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  2. What would you say defines a writer? It certainly seems to me that you are a writer, even if you don't fit other people's definitions of it. Not that it matters, we are free to define or not define ourselves however seems most true to us. I was just curious. :)

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  3. Elizabeth WaggonerJanuary 23, 2016 at 5:09 AM

    I write all the time - but I don't consider myself to be a "writer" because writing is not my life, my profession - or anything really, more than just "something I do." So I'm thinking that what you mean is that you don't fit your own definition of what a Writer is.
    Either way, Sarah, your words are beautiful. Your perception and your thoughts are spot on and though you may not be a writer, what you say has had a profound effect on my life and thoughts at least. I hope you continue sharing with us.
    (I'm enchanted with "Coracle Sky", by the way.)

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    1. thank you, I am so glad you like the book :-)

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  4. By anyone's definition (including my own) I'm a writer. I was talking about something deeper - the self-identification of what makes a creative person's heart beat, or how to name one's soul. An artist may only use oil paint as their medium, but they might not call themselves a painter, or even an artist - they might consider themselves a storyteller, or lover of the landscape, or portraitist.

    I am a storyteller within myself. I mostly use writing as my medium - although recently I have begun to experiment with pinterest, using image collections to tell wordless stories. By telling myself that I'm a writer, I end up suffering during the times when I can't write (the summer droughts, the crippling of my hands with fibromyalgia, the busy weeks). But realising that I am primarily a storyteller who writes ... a person who experiences the world through story ... a woman whose native language is story ... allows me to be myself all the time.

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    1. Beautiful. I do understand how important these self-definitions are and how important it is to not layer ourselves with unnecessary baggage. Love to you!

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