Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

The Way of Story, the How of Writing

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Apr• 17•11

The territory of writing is a risky place. Craft alone is not enough. Discipline alone is not enough. Writing is an act of hope and the writing life is a blend of craft, surrender, and listening to the constant river that flows within. In this river lies discovery.

Words in Your Blood Here we are, you and I, standing in the doorway of words about words. It’s a place of huge silence and beauty. Now I know that the writing life can be a place of chaos, and and doubts. Not to mention crumpled pages, discarded drafts, and dimming hopes. But I believe we can connect to the other part of the writing life, the quiet part, the mysterious part. Because I believe we manage or thoughts and projects, we can acquire nurturing habits, and we can hone our skills and find a way of toting up our days that leads to secluded pool hidden near a safe harbor. You say you don’t believe in secluded pools or extended metaphors about how writing equals transcendence? Either did I. But I’m sitting here in the dark, still center of the night and I feel connected to something ancient and true and important. I’m writing because you and I belong to the same tribe. Words move us and words are in our blood. It’s simple: we choose to spend our lives (or at least the spare hours of it) writing.We’ve tried. It leads to misery. So let’s try something else. Let’s find the river, the pool, the harbor, the writing place within. And while we’re in the water, let’s learn the strokes that keep us above the surface rather than glug-glugging to down to the rocky bottom.

We write for so many reasons and because writing chooses us. Writing can take us to the place in the world where we belong, where we can tell our stories.

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  1. Olivia Smith says:

    Hi Jessica, 2 things.

    Firstly, thanks for your blogs and websites. They are an inspiration and make me want to keep going, even though I feel sometimes like it’s a waste of time. I have no one I can talk to about writing, so the internet is my salvation. My partner who I live with doesn’t understand my writing and thinks I’m just wasting time so I don’t have to do housework or get another job. He doesn’t come out and say those exact words, but he makes it know in his tone of voice and actions.

    Secondly, I have bought and read a few of your books, so for them I say a big thankyou. The one I really want is ‘Writing out the storm’. I read a small part on Amazon and want to purchase it, but its not available in Australia. Could you please have a competition and have that book be the prize?

    I don’t know why I need to write. It’s just something I think about all the time 🙂

    • jessicap says:

      Thanks so much for being the first person writing to me at my new site. Writing is a meaningful life, no matter what others think of it. Since you were the first to write me here, I’m happy to send you a copy of Writing Out the Storm. It’s something I wrote years ago when I realized that many of my students were afraid to write. Please send me your mailing address to jessicapage (at) spiritone (dot)com and I’ll get it out to you next week. all my best, Jessica

  2. Jennabel says:

    Hey, you’re the goto expert. Thanks for haingng out here.

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