Writing to Discovery for Spring and Beyond

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A new season is a great time to rediscover the "miraculous process"
of writing and discovery. Photo credit | EKHumphrey

I had another topic I planned to write for today. Then I read this blog post

In spare language, Parker J. Palmer  elevates writing. He describes it as a “miraculous process.” He talks about writing leading to discovery.

All of which I know.

Yet when was the last time I, as a freelance writer and editor, had a moment to use writing to lead to self-discovery? When was the last time I spent time just contemplating writing for writing’s sake? Or spent time just allowing my writing to take the lead and put me in the back seat with a muzzle on?

Last year I zigged and zagged from one project to another and kept the blinders on—through the death of a close family member—to keep writing to an end goal. Then another goal. Then another.

I had deadlines. I had articles to write. I had clients I needed to answer, a contract I needed to fulfill. I edited in early mornings and there were weekends when the words and letters from the computer screen burned the inside of my eyelids. 

Parker Palmer’s writing gently reminded me to take some time. Take time to stop thinking about how I’m behind on this project or cursing that my works in progress are languishing from inattention.

If I don’t take the time to write without goal, the deadlines may be met, but I’m no closer to returning to the reasons I love to write. It’s the process of discovery during writing that can get lost in all the noise of deadlines and daily writing demands. 

With a new season upon us (although the mercury continues to disagree), I took some time to write without purpose and without a deadline. To me, I found the experience refreshing and vibrant. It was tough to shut out the deadlines and the daily chaos, but so worth it!

The earth is releasing its greenery (for some through what seems like endless cold and snow) and spring is a perfect time to return to writing as a path to discovery. Or re-discovery.

I encourage you to (if you don’t already) take some time away from goal-oriented writing to write without a goal. Rediscover writing and yourself. And enjoy…as spring unfolds.

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and editor living in coastal North Carolina.She's finding joy in rediscovering writing already this spring.


Renee Roberson said...

I love this! I feel like I"ve been in too much of a rut lately, too. I'm grateful for my regular contract work, of course, but I've been itching to take on a new book project for fun. Spring seems like the perfect time to do it!

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