Unmooring ourselves….

Ok,… sounds wanky.  But I was thinking this morning about just this.

A couple of months ago I left a writers group I had been in for a few years.  It was a good classroom for learning many things about writing.  It was good.

I want to reemphasis this.  I sucked at the communal teat of this group and it formed so much in me as a writer.  I was pretty raw, didn’t know top from bottom, and things could stink in the writing.  I was clumsy.

Still am…and this blog shows it. But the blog is just a pure release and a joy because I don’t have to prove myself here.  It’s just a vehicle for thoughts and communication.

This group, over the years, helped tremendously.  It’s just that I didn’t think in straight erotica terms.  Not like so many of them.

And there are some incredibly fine writers there.  I am proud to have read their work.  The best haunt me still.

It was also addictive.  I realized  all my writing there …well, most of it…was to fit in the mold of erotica.  Fine for a while, but there is more to writing than just this genre.

I have changed in my style and taste.  Erotica is a spice now, not the full monty for me.  Perhaps it never was.  I did teeter on the issue of what was porn and what was erotica.   I found many arguments on both sides and some that said there was no difference.

I didn’t buy it. I read some pretty horrific stuff, mostly in the extreme bdsm nature…that squashed any erotic in the writing.  I read some  work that was pornographic in my estimation.  And in a many cases, I read some good erotica.

I was restless there, and thought  I was way too addicted to the approval of others about my writing.  I knew  I didn’t fit, was writing work that wasn’t of interest there, and I felt I was limiting myself in some unknown way.  So I left months ago.

Recently I went back.  Now I wonder why.   Sometimes we are better leaving and staying gone.   I think what happened is that I changed, even in a few months.  When I went  back, I realized the a lot of things had not been resolved for me.  I was right back into the mix where I didn’t really fit.  It’s not that I couldn’t learn more, it’s just that my writing had taken  some sharp turns away from erotica.  I didn’t consider myself a writer of erotica anymore, and that was what they wanted.

 

Further, I didn’t have the blocks, the writer’s blocks, the issues of  depression that seem to grab  many writers, I didn’t have the quirks of some writers, the rituals, the superstitions, whatever keeps writers from writing.  I was writing with no issues really.

I was just writing.  I was writing stories….novels….poems.  It seemed just the natural thing to do given the stimuli around me. It was no angst y thing really, it was just the response with pen and paper to the wonderment of life around.  Everything sparked either a blog entry (LOL!…and people who read the blog know all about that!)….or something else.  Mostly the novels I have been writing.

Ok….I will admit in some departments  my writing has fallen off…like tanka production which for three years was something I loved.  I was now writing ‘long’….and tanka has a very different state of mind for me, and it just wasn’t appearing.

I would walk last year and just that constant movement would bring tanka flooding to mind.  I had to place a pad and pen on a dog house, or chicken coop (I walk in my back yard) to write down those verses that came to me.  Nature seemed to flood my senses, and if it wasn’t tanka, it was freeverse.  (which ain’t free by the way, there were rules to freeverse, but another entry for that).

Like the lithe bowing

Of a red maple sapling

My heart turns to you,

Yearns for those nights long ago

When pale skin challenged the moon.

I write tanka in the 5/7/5/7/7 form.  That’s Japanese and I stick to it.  There are other forms, 3/2/something…but I’ve rarely seen it, and frankly, I’m not interested in it.  I find a balance and a comfort in this 5/7/etc. form.  I also find comfort and inspiration in some older Japanese themes, like the moon, nature, etc.  Works for me.

We can get lost in a crowd.  We can go along with others who are fellow travelers for a while and scratch itches we think we have.  But at some time along this journey, we have to look at what we are and what we are doing with some  company.  Not bad company, but hindering in some important ways.

Maybe some hidden ways, unknown until you have been away for a while.  Perhaps you have broken a mold of a particular time.

It’s a privilege to write.  It’s a wonderful thing to create through the cobbling of words. But we have to know our influences and whether they are progressive or hinder us in some way.  We have to be loose and goosey.  We have to honor the imagination  that is the generator of our creativity.

We have to unmoor ourselves in that sea of imagination and push out alone into the water.  We have to unhinder ourselves and in that stillness and silence, we can hear our voice.

That goes a long way to being a writer. Perhaps drawing on this leads us to the bedrock of our  originality.

Lady Nyo

With apologies for all the errors in this entry.  I wrote it too fast and didn’t proof!

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4 Responses to “Unmooring ourselves….”

  1. Berowne Says:

    I had a similar (though probably not identical) reaction to that writers’ group. I left it for a while, went back, and have most likely left it in its present form for good. I like the wide-eyed expressions of new writers who join, and it’s understandable if their product is raw and unfinished; they’re just starting out after all. But the quality is uneven (to be charitable) and so many posts just sink into a silence that must be discouraging to them; I noticed that new participants often come and go in short order.

    We’ve talked about this elsewhere. I see that group as having potential as a writers’ group to be more active and useful, but I think that will take an effort on the part of the admin folks which they don’t seem willing to make.

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  2. Malcolm Says:

    I will never be a serious writer of erotica, and read it only on that web site where people can try things out. What I have found it that one can actually make friends on a writing site and safely exchange life stories and feelings. To see your name again on posts there was pleasing to me. I’ve found your blog always interesting to read, and have enjoyed all your stories, even the unfinished ones which are slices of believable life. Although for years when people asked me what kind of poetry I wrote, I answered ‘erotic’. But I meant about love, not sex. Most of my poems live unseen on my computer, but they give me pleasure in writing, and in reading them later. They help me grow by understanding myself, an unending task which will go on until I die. Finding people with whom we can exchange ideas which will be heard without anybody being judgemental is good.

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  3. ladynyo Says:

    Well, you raise some good points, Malcolm…friendship is one of the pluses there. Rose is certainly a firm friend in more than writing for me.

    The level of encouragement to new writers varies, but of course the level of competency varies there, too. As to judgmental? Well, I think many would take that by the silence and lack of crits as to be rather judgmental.

    I have been fortunate in that people have ‘noticed’ my work there, and for that I am very grateful. It was and is a good classroom.

    I think the issue for me, again, is that I am growing and changing as a writer. I am not a writer of erotica, though my first book certainly was that. This second and third one will not be so much of that. At all.

    That group is a long standing group. There are many very successful and published writers there…who aren’t submitting…or do only rarely. The success of the lists can’t be supported by only a handful of the same all the time. I think that group has some issues, but I don’t know what they are.

    For me…the issue is this. I spent exactly three years there….I learned a lot from that group. But I also feel that there is a time to go out into the world. Actually, it’s more than that, Malcolm. I find that it’s addictive and takes a lot of time. I would rather write on my blog as to these life passages…and write my novels.

    I am a very different person than I was three years ago. I have developed a certain discernment (good Quaker word, that! ) about writing, literature in general and life. And people. I don’t want to sit with people who haven’t moved in their opinions. I have.

    I don’t need to know what other writers are doing for ‘blockages’, etc. I don’t have time for them. Frankly, I also think it’s part of the “Stumped Writers School”….we twattle on so much about our fleeing muses, our mental blockages, etc. I think writing is a great privilege…this cobbling of words together. I think it’s something we want shortcuts and detours to get to…and it is just a solid work ethic.

    I find movement and gardening and the beauty of nature enough to start those things of imagination going in my head and they are a bank of ideas for stories, poems, novels.

    It’s just applied hard work. The the best thing is that we grow…don’t we! At any age.

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  4. ladynyo Says:

    Berowne, I hear you. I don’t know what the answers are for that group…but I do know that for me…I can’t entangle myself in it too much anymore.

    I guess I went back this weekend for the tanka….you know me and tanka….and I was really disappointed that the situation was as bleak as I was warned. I remember a few years ago, even a year ago…when the spirit and efforts on that site were marvelous.

    Perhaps we are just ….tiring? Or people there? I do know there are wonderful and published writers there, but I don’t ever see their work posted…except somethings in Writers. I would like to read excerpts from their novels, chapters, etc…but no luck.

    Under the suggestions of a good writer there I really ruined “La Vendetta”. I beefed it up sexually for inclusion in their pages, and I spent hours, days revamping it when it was not deemed ‘sexy’ enough. That taught me something. There is a question of IMAGINATION!!! and I do find that missing a lot with some writers.

    Perhaps I just am not a writer that should be there. In fact, I think so. I have moved away from straight erotica. It’s only a spice now to the story…IF.

    And I am more interested in my poetry (tanka and freeverse) being NON-erotic.

    I can do that myself, mother! LOL!

    As for new writers, yes I agree with you. So many come and go…sink into oblivion. I do know that when I privately wrote to a couple they also stopped posting. That was unfortunate because they were just starting out. I don’t have any answers anymore.

    I just want to keep writing and I am very sorry that I can’t give any direction here.

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