Why do I write?

writingWhy I write? This is a good question and I’m not even sure I can answer it.

I’ve always had this burn to write. I wrote and directed plays forcing my younger sister and neighbour to perform in front of our parents as a young child and I scribbled poems into my Dad’s old work diary.

Now as an adult I’ve written on and off in a journal for years. I write poetry to share out loud with  a group  of friends as a poetry performance group. Plus I’m in the middle of writing my second draft of a young adult novel.

So why do I write these words and live parts of my day in somebody else’s head? Apart from my performance poetry and now this blog, plus twitter, nobody sees the words that I’m seeing in my head and on the page. So why am I doing it?

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Blue is the warmest color and relationship dilemma

Blue is the Warmest colourThere are not many films that encourage me to write, but as I was watching Blue is the Warmest Color I craved to pick up my pen and start writing, not because the film was so bad that I wanted to rewrite it, but because the film, the dialogue (subtitles), the characterization and the story line was so good. So strong. There were moments where I had aha moments. When I observed how the film used literature and culture to define the two main characters. I also had the odd moment when, I thought to myself, damn I’d wish I’d written that.

This film spans a decade and is predominantly a coming-of-age story for the main protagonist, Adele. Just after starting up a relationship with a boy from her school Adele has a chance encounter with a slightly older woman, which leads Adele to think that something is missing in her relationship with the boy. Adele who is still at high school and the other woman, Emma is a young student completing her final year with a Fine Arts degree. Emma, being the elder of the two takes on the younger Adele as her protégé, not just sexually but to support her in her growth in becoming a young adult and person.

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The Storyteller

Tree buddha

Tree buddha (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Feeling the need to be inspired I pick up Julia Cameron’s ‘The Right to Write‘.

One of the exercises to help you lighten up and not take writing so seriously is:

Pretend you are sitting under a large tree with your back resting on its trunk. On the other side of the tree, a Storyteller sits also resting against the tree trunk. Take a sheet of paper and number from one to five. Tell the Storyteller five things you’d like to hear stories about. 

So I pick up a pen and start to write:  Continue reading

A bloggers writing block

When too much information and guidance stops productivity.

Over the last few weeks I’ve started many writing posts and then just as quickly I abandon them, or I’ve stared at a blank page, blankly.

Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog - ...So what does a gal do? I google. And I come across some amazing sites that have dazzling and informative posts on how you should set up a blog, ideas for blog posts and the importance of discovering your niche.

The market for many of those posts are for writers who have a service or product to sell, often in copy writing  marketing and other similar non-fiction writing. Now there is nothing wrong in selling resources or your time, or in their blog advice, but being a newish blogger I find all this advice only confusing me more. Continue reading

Writing Gay Characters

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride.

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My YA novel has gay characters. The protagonist has two Dads, who just happen to live together and to love each other and they both own a business together, a hairdressing salon.

But as I work on my first draft various questions emerge:

Gay characters – hairdressers – stereotyping?!

Can I write authentically about gay characters when I’m not gay?

How can I not offend readers?

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Why I write


Trudi Sutcliffe ©

I write to share stories. To feel at peace. To share the stories of the underdogs and the misunderstood. I write to walk in another’s shoes. I write because I love humanity and to stay present. I write to show beauty. I write to help others. I write because no-one is listening. I write to inspire.

I write to come out from behind the shadows I find myself in. I write to find myself, to find clarity. I write for the possibility doors will open. I write because I always have. I write because when I don’t, a part of me is missing. I write to stop the itch. I write because I have to.

And when I don’t write?

When I don’t write, it’s because I’m scared. Scared to face up to the page. Scared of showing others who I really am. Scared to be rejected. Scared to be disliked. Fear.

So, why do you write or not write?

This post was inspired by a book I’m dipping into: Writing Creative Non-fiction. Instructions  and insights from the teachers of the Associated Writing ProgramsIn the first chapter writer Terry Tempest Williams shares why he writes and then asks: Why do you write?