Sunday, August 03, 2008

Wild Woman of Queens: Notes on Urban Creativity from across the East River.

Wild Woman of Queens: Notes on Urban Creativity from across the East River.

Sandra Lee Schubert


I wrote from the beginning. I wrote with my dolls, paper, paste and my food.I wrote with my laughter and tears before I could shape a sentence on paper. ~ Sandra Lee Schubert

As a child I wrote a family newsletter. I would produce just one copy at a time for my mother and sister that never left the house for wider circulation. In college, I rediscovered my love for words. I preferred to write poetry but did write for my college newspaper and regional papers. I have read many books on writing and have been an active member of writing groups. I have even created one such group. Despite all that I didn't consider myself writer. I was someone who wrote. There is a difference. My inner dialogue had me compare myself to all the other wonderful writers in the world, the prolific, the brilliant and the well paid. I fell short of them all. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? I had the brilliant notion that the only way to become a good writer was to write. I may not have called myself a writer but I had been living the life of one. The value of hanging out with other writers was bearing witness to their story telling. I too had a story to tell. It was out of that cumulative experience and witnessing to other stories that I was able to create the course, Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own. That course has led me to share my experience and my story with you.

Creation is a better means of self-expression than possession; it is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed. ~ Vida D. Scudder, author and translator

Are you a closet writer?

I invite you to step out into the world with your creations. The life of writer does not have to be a lonely one. Share your love of words with other lovers. Join a writing group. If you feel a little shy about sharing your work publicly then investigate some online groups. You can search for writing groups or just other writers. Visit a couple and see if the tone is supportive. What kind of feedback do they give? Is it constructive or mean spirited? If you like what you see online then dare to venture forth and submit a piece or two. You can always leave a group.

The point is to be immersed into the life of a writer - share, support and talk to people who live daily with their craft. A writer gets to incorporate all their senses into the act of writing. Listen to the conversations around you. Observe. Smell. Feel. Write. Let your whole body become involved in creation. Absorb it all.

Read books like King's; pick up Ray Bradbury's book, Zen in the Art of Writing, or One Writer's Beginnings, by Eudora Welty. These books are great sources for observing how a writer takes from life and recreates stories.

Wherever you are in life, honor your journey. Create your environment to support your creative self. Surround yourself with people and things that feed your muse. Share your work with others and you may find that you are a happier and more satisfied person.

Sandra Lee Schubert is a creative vagabond, a poet, writer and dabbler in the arts and online entrepreneur. She co-facilitates the Wild Angels Poets and Writers Group at the historic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. She is also the creator of the e-course Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own. Visit her blog: Email her or @writing4life via twitter.

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