Summer’s Journey for the Writer Waits

It’s the first day of summer, the longest day of the year. As light lengthens past nine at night, a writer feels braver. Summer offers a richer and truer expression of relaxation and reflection.

When we write, we’re in “summer school.” Writer William Zinsser said: “The subject you best know is yourself.” So, write about that. If you’re journaling, use the journal as a “classroom” to explore and learn more about yourself and others. Author and writing teacher, Susan Tiberghien, once said, “I try to live my day as a journey. When a flower opens in sunlight, when a cloud beckons, I write that in my journal.” In writing, self-absorption slips away. In her writing guide, Wild Mind, Natalie Goldberg notes that writing allows us to “let it go.”

Not only that, but I have always felt writing fosters empathy, not just for others, but for us. What’s the point of that? Empathy translates into better relationships, opens up a mutual give and take, and encourages different perspectives and a rhythm of hope and optimism that might not have been there before. When people ask why I started the Women’s Writing Circle, I always say it was borne out of this feeling that women’s voices have been marginalized. Writing may crystallize a plan, a path forward, a way out of a problem. We’re in this together.

At a recent writing workshop, we were asked to describe a room in our house. Does it foster creativity? How would you describe it? What would you change if you could? I wrote about my pink, gold and red living room. The colors and textures reflect my taste, as well as a commitment I made a long time ago to declutter the spaces where I live. Clutter fosters chaos, disorganization. There’s a couch, a loveseat, and a chair. There are books in one corner near a dark green rolltop desk. On the walls, hang the art from my travels. The art depicts the Wheel of Life, bought in Nepal, the Tree of Life, from Morocco, the winter sled and horse skimming across tundra, bought in Russia. For all that I have seen and traveled the world, I spend most of my days, here in this room, in this house, redolent with memories. A hint of laughter hangs on the breeze or is that the windchime next door? What would I change? The touch of a hand on mine, a kind word over another solitary dinner. What was a choice? What wasn’t a choice?

I write. I ponder. Summer’s journey for the writer waits.

Published by Susan G. Weidener

Join me as I share reflections, always with an eye toward the challenges and struggles we women encounter and embrace in both creative and personal ways. My memoir, Again in a Heartbeat, was selected as a 2011 editor’s pick by Story Circle Network. Its sequel Morning at Wellington Square has also achieved critical acclaim. A Portrait of Love and Honor, a novel based on a true story, is centered around a story of two people destined to meet and one man's commitment to honor following his years at West Point. In 1991, I joined the staff of The Philadelphia Inquirer and worked as a reporter covering news and writing feature stories until 2007. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, I attended the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010, I started the Women's Writing Circle, a critique and support group for writers in suburban Philadelphia, which meets the second Saturday of the month at the Chester Springs Library. I live in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania with my Yellow Lab, Lily.

6 thoughts on “Summer’s Journey for the Writer Waits

  1. Yes, to your beautiful living space. Yes, to decluttered rooms. Yes, to the flowers, the blue sky, and summer. That’s the way I function too.
    Enjoy, my writer friend.

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  2. I would feel at home in a room furnished in red, pink, gold–art and books,

    You quoted one writer with a thought that spurred me to action: “I try to live my day as a journey.” One day, possibly Friday, I cleaned all the stuff off my desk to de-clutter and find a way forward.

    Thanks for the inspiration here, Susan!

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    1. Good to hear from you, Marian, and glad that you decluttered. I, too, often declutter my work area. It’s amazing how quickly it gets covered in papers and if I don’t keep up with it, it can “take over.” Enjoy summer’s writing journey! Susan

      Like

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