Yesterday I discovered a trending hashtag by accident: #IWriteBecause.
I learned an organization started the campaign to connect writers and raise money for Room to Read - See Details and Video's that have been submitted at the Reedsy HQ Link here -
Now - here's my 5 minute Brain Dump with video to follow:
I write because I have known since I was a little girl the value of stories.
I would dictate my stories to my mother, who would tirelessly scribe them and I would copy them, awkwardly, in crayon on construction paper.
On road trips I would sit between my brothers in the backseat of our turquoise country squire and write what I now know to be cursive e’s across the page for hours. “I’m writing!” I would sing. I am writing!
The page always listens. My pencil never leaves me.
Last night I was talking with my love, apologizing for my sometimes habit of writing in my head. I might seem like I am present, but I am writing – practicing word combinations rather than being hurt by what is showing its face around me.
Writing has helped me detangle some very unpleasant relationship problems. I write because via words, clarity is found – over and over again.
I write because there are many who can’t and my speaking up on their behalf in advocacy makes a difference. So many people won’t or can’t write what needs to be said.
I write because it helps me feel more brave. Courage, so important today when fear is so readily accessible and optimism is often elusive.
I write because it always makes me feel better than before I started writing: even when I write in five minute chunks or while waiting to visit the doctor or after a yoga session or while sitting by the river.
I write because the world is waiting for my words. It is my privilege to provide them.
Today's unexpected irony: this morning I happily collected the quote below, felt inspired, wrote an intro, set my timer and promptly got called away by duty and tasks.
My mind minions kept attempting to get my attention to write and my taskety task master's kept me focused on whatever was right in front of me. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just a part
Here it is, a full eight hours and lots of activities later and I am about to write.
“If we see an object as a 'bowl,' it may inhibit seeing it as 'craft,' just as seeing it as 'craft' might inhibit seeing it as 'art.' See first; name later.”
It’s been a long time since I allowed myself the simple luxury of sitting at my table on a Saturday morning, writing. “Too much to do on Saturdays!” I would oft lament, rushing around, my hair flying behind me obviously electrified by my stress thoughts of “too much.”
This morning I listen to a dog barking in a far-away back yard. I hear flies buzzing in the sea of fallen mulberries and the sprinklers droplets, attempting to tame – something.
I’m reminded of Darby Bannard’s words “If we see an object as a 'bowl,' it may inhibit seeing it as 'craft,' just as seeing it as 'craft' might inhibit seeing it as 'art.' See first; name later.”
Saturday morning: what do I see, hear, smell, feel, taste, touch, feel emotionally?
Set the timer for 5 minutes and… go.
(Eight hours later, I write...)
Right outside my front door. Purple splotches in concrete, an annual celebration of life and this year, the most purple splotches I have ever seen in the last twenty-six years. It is a splotch factory yet slightly cleaner and less buzzing with flies than earlier today.
I’ve been taking care to not infuriate whatever is left of the good nature of my neighbors who abhor my mulberry tree who is finally, this year, weeping as she is meant to weep. Her limbs sweep to the soil, the grass there the greenest of my lawn.
Mulberries are a super food and their juices replenish the tired clay that would be desert was it not for our relentless domestication and insistence we make our yard look like a yard in a more gentle climate.
Lavender, her purple compatriot, thrives against my neighbor’s driveway. I think maybe it is time to move some of that into the backyard. It is a haven for bees and we need to treasure and feed and love our bee population.
Rosemary, my favorite. My homage to Martha Stewart.
I realize I have named everything. I haven’t listened fully to the directions or perhaps it just isn’t deep enough.
There are more five minute segments left in which to “do it right” with my writing.
I remind myself, “There is no right or wrong, there is simply and purely moving my fingers on the keyboard as I am doing now. When I do this, all becomes nearly instantly right with the world no matter what circumstances attempt to tell me differently.
Applause. Job well done.
This online timer is my biggest fan. When I get one that includes a standing ovation pop up emoji, I will have truly arrived.
“It is important that awake people be awake.”
I opened the windows around my writing space this morning after I took William Stafford’s words to heart. I set my timer and make sure the font is big enough to read without my glasses on, as I get older it is more challenging to read from my keyboard to the laptop’s smallish monitor.
I notice the sky is a dusky tangerine color along the horizon’s edge, as if the day wasn’t sure it really wanted to break.
Perhaps I ought to open my front door and step on my lawn, bringing William Stafford’s words with me. Perhaps Stafford was lecturing himself, too, when he wrote of sleeping resources in language and describes a poet’s wished for accomplishments.
I wonder what it would be like to talk to such a poet.
I remember how I was too afraid to approach Juan Felipe Herrerra as others pressed in, close, to speak with him. I held back, slightly embarrassed to be fan-girling him. It has been a year for being like a teen-girl chasing after boy-band-poets who, when seen on the street might be accountants or restaurant reviewers or computer technicians.
Poets, I suppose, hold secrets in their incognito appearances.
The tangerine is turning into the palest grey pink as the sky agrees it must do what it must do.
My task, as a poet-mommy-creative-citizen is to wake up to this day. To say yes to what appears and negotiate that yes with grace. Recognize everyone else is doing her or his or their best and embrace each emotion as it reaches into my eyelids.
Don’t be afraid, be excited. Make Samuel a Nutella sandwich to nibble before he walks to school. Fully enjoy the rest of the first cup of coffee. Water the front lawn.
Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world. She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in soon! To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session, call or text her at 661.444.2735.
Julie Jordan Scott
is the founder and creator of 5For5BrainDump. She has been inspiring artistic rebirth since 1999.