Shelley Widhalm

On being in love with writing

In Valentine's Day, Writing, Writing Tips on February 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

Surgery-Splint1I have to admit I’ve been bitten by the love bug.

This bug is red—maybe a lady bug—and she fits in with Valentine’s Day, buzzing in my ear, reminding me I need to do what I love: writing.

Valentine’s Day is about declaring your love for someone—or something.

Before I explain the love factors that make writing the object of desire, I have to explain my temporary breakup with writing and blogging.

I took a two-month break from most of my writing activities following a wrist surgery in mid-December. I returned to work 2 ½ weeks later, but on limited activity, so I learned how to use voice recognition software and typed one-handed to write my news and feature articles.

My physical therapist said last week I could type a half-hour a day using two hands, but that doesn’t allow for much writing that’s not at an agonizingly slow pace. Instead, I’ve been working on some editing projects and writing a couple of things, but keystroke by keystroke in the hunt-and-peck method.

As a writer in my day-job, I slowed my pace and by relying on the software—Dragon and I call “her” Dixie the Dragon—for most of my work, I had to change how I approached my articles. Instead of taking notes and organizing them into story format as I wrote, I had to take notes one-handed, input the notes manually and cut and past them into a sort of outline and then talk-write one-handed.

To say the least, it was tiring, because I was processing information in a new way. I sort of wanted to quit, because I wasn’t really writing. I was talking into a headset in a newsroom while everyone could hear me think, but then I started liking it. I found a way to orally keep my style and realized a story can be told in many ways.

I fell back in love, and here’s why:

  • Writing is a way to get into the self and figure out what you really think or feel about something.
  • It’s a way to be creative.
  • It’s a way to play around with words and language.
  • It’s a way to improve your understanding of words and how to be concise with language and how to effectively get message across.
  • It’s a way to have a hobby (or a job) that can result in a physical product.
  • It’s a way to express yourself, use your intelligent and creative mind at the same time, and make connections with text, memory or experiences that you might not otherwise make by thinking or talking.
  • It’s a way to tell stories and disappear into another world, where you don’t see the page and can’t tell you’re writing.
  • It’s a way to be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do, going places and doing things you might not do otherwise.
  • And it’s interesting to find out what it is you created after spending a few minutes or hours on a story or essay. It’s a process of discovery.

Lastly, it gives you a sense of accomplishment after completing a story, meeting a word or time goal and finishing a novel or other large project.

In essence, it’s reciprocal, just like love, because you give your words and you get back a product, starting in rough draft form. But as you get to know each other even more, you develop a relationship, turning something rough into your perfect match.

  1. […] On being in love with writing  The perfect post for Valentine’s Day by my good friend by Shelley […]

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