Shelley Widhalm

Writing and Love (and the Connection to Valentine’s Day)

In Blogging, Writing, Writing Processes on February 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

DowntownFlower

One or two aisles in the grocery store during Valentine’s Day are filled with pink and red.

Valentine’s cards, heart-shaped candy and teddy bears holding stuffed hearts crowd the shelves to mark the day of giving candy, flowers and a dinner out.

This gift giving and exchange of cards developed out of Saint Valentine(s). A number of Saints called Valentine are honored on Feb. 14, a day that became associated with romantic love in the Middle Ages in England. Traditionally, lovers exchanged handwritten notes and later commercial cards when they became available in the mid-19th century.

But what does Valentine’s Day and love have to do with writing (what I write about in this blog)?

On the surface, greeting cards and the notes in valentines all involve the quick correspondence about friendship and romance. Communicating through writing has a universal appeal (think notes passed around at school before texting, texting, Facebook messages, emails, letters and cards). What’s written can be reread, saved and kept as a memento (even texts, if you copy them into a notebook or journal) and serves as physical proof that someone is thinking about you.

Writers do the same thing, compiling poems, short stories, manuscripts, ideas for writing and processes for doing the writing. They become collectors of the written word, saving their work toward the day they will be published. Or they simply write out of a passion and because it’s their hobby.

They do it because of love.

What do you love about writing?

With blogging, I love that I am learning and re-learning elements of the writing process. I pick a subject and make discoveries and connections as I write. I improve my understanding of words and how to be concise with them and how to get my message across effectively in an interesting way.

With all types of writing, I become a better writer each time I write, particularly when I work in different genres from short stories to blogs to news writing, cross pollinating the techniques of each. Not only do I love the result but I love the process, putting words down to see what I come up with: a new idea, a new approach to dialog interchange or a different way of describing a character or a plot point that hadn’t occurred to me until I was actually doing the writing.

As I write, I love that I am creating, turning taps on the keypad into detail, description and story.

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