Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On Writing

I was treated this morning with a happy memory.  Eleventh grade english, the Waterford School, Mrs. Sorenson requesting I stay after class a minute.  I don't remember what she said, I remember two things:  1. Suspicion that I may have cheated on my paper.  2. She thought  it was a really good paper.  I had not cheated.  What did have was my first taste of being in the zone.  I was focused, I knew my stuff, and I let the writing muse guide my thoughts into the words that flowed through the word processor.  And it felt good.  I'm pretty sure she told me I could be a good writer.  Anyway, that is what I took away from the moment and it stuck with me.  Confidence.

The memory was inspired by a group discussion with various writers on the Mormon Chanel's All Things Creative podcast.  I have the Mormon Channel app on my phone and listen to these programs on my morning runs and in my studio.  To my surprise and memorial-satisfaction, one of the "writers" voices on this mornings discussion was the influential Mrs. Sorenson (Kimberley Heuston).  Find it here.

I particularly like hearing from writers on their processes and struggles.  Words are a bit of an enigma to me.  I find writing tedious and painful.  I think people sometimes think an artist picks up a brush, lays the paint on a canvas and magic happens.  Out comes a beautiful something.  And they say, "I could never do that."  Neither could I.  For some that may be the case.  But I, and most artists I know, have a multi-step process with the use of resources and tools in order to create their art.  Sometimes the process is beautiful, on occasion it can be rather painful.  I have been guilty of thinking of writers the same way.  Words come to them easily, they just purge their thoughts and out comes a story. So, I relate from a creationary aspect when writers say that even for them writing is labor intensive.  I enjoy hearing musicians discuss creativity as well, but don't find the same connection.  Did I just do it again?  Accuse musicians of having it easy?  Maybe, but I exclude song writing.  But they are writing, not playing or performing.  So there.

If you get on the Mormon Channel, be sure to give my sister's fabulous documentary a listen.  It's really good.


Kristin said...

Oh the Waterford School, where students are neither seen, nor heard, right?

emily said...

Yes. In fact, I had an outfit to match the wallpaper in the classrooms.

Breezy said...

My name is Breezy Taggart and I am a BYU MA Art History student working on a project for the Friend magazine and the Church History Museum. I like to talk to you about one of your works to use in this exhibition and project but have been unsuccessful at finding your contact information. If you could email me at I would really love to talk to you about your work!

Breezy Taggart

Katy said...

Emily, A long time ago you told me about some shoes you adore. I remember Camper but can't remember the other brand. Could you tell me again?

Ewan is gorgeous! Congrats on having such a sweet baby boy.