On Writing

Writing at the beach..any beach, my feet in the sand.

Writing at the beach..any beach, my feet in the sand.

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words”-Mark Twain.

If only….

At a recent Creativity Conference at Pompanuck Farms in Cambridge, New York, author Jon Katz gave talks on both writing and blogging. I took four pages of notes because besides my love for writing, I value any pearls of wisdom from a successful writer.

One of the things I learned was that writing is a discipline, and that it’s hard to improve if you only write for yourself. While I’ve had a blog for some time it felt nonsensical, the blabbering of an idiot.  So I wrote here and there, never building a following, an audience.  Sitting alone in my kitchen, surrounded by my crocheting and beading and dogs I wondered who cared what I thought or did.  After the Creativity Conference my writing goals felt energized and purposeful, a feeling I think was shared by other attendees.

One of the gems I noted from Jon was, “You want people to think, to be challenged when they read your writing.” With the current growing dichotomy within the world of dog training and ownership do I want to put my feelings and beliefs out there?  Do I want the Purely Positive trainers to see that I use many tools that have worked for me over the years, not necessarily the Politically Correct ones?  Do I want to put myself out there to be demeaned by the invisible but self-righteous “Internet Trolls” as Jon Katz does?  Do I have what it takes to present my point of view?

Coincidentally upon my return from the Creativity Conference I brought home a puppy and have started writing about my love for him, our battles (i.e. housetraining), and his obedience training.

Jon Katz said to be authentic, “Don’t write about yourself as being something you are not”. None of us is perfect, especially not me.  We all suffer disappointments, do stupid things, hurt people we don’t mean to hurt, laugh, cry and love.

Therefore, steeling myself to go for it and present my thoughts to the world, I’ve started writing on an almost daily basis, an essay on the good, the bad, the ugly, the weird and hopefully the down-right funny moments in my life. I want to be real in my daily writing, to touch people, move people, and make people think.  To be honest, I also want people to see my wonderful Border Collies too and understand the complexities of owning and training dogs.

But do you know the main reason I write? I want to be heard, little old invisible-in-a-crowd me.  I want my words to be like footprints left in clay, to have someone ponder years in the future who this woman was and how did she live and think and breath?

Writing also gives me not only a voice but I can speak through my pen for other people and give them the courage or the incentive to do something, or to put something right that is wrong or to show someone the beauty in something unusual. Oh, the possibilities.

“Writing is an opportunity for self-awareness, to find others opinions that will challenge you, to clarify your ideas, your goals. It is not to tell the world that you’re the best of anything, ” said Jon Katz.

Don’t we all want the same thing? Validation? A voice heard in the forest?

3 thoughts on “On Writing

  1. Love your “words to be like footprints left in clay” as why you write. Yes, we all need validation and to be heard. We all seek understanding and sharing of ideas. And when we are gone, we would like to think someone in the future might care about what we thought. It does seem as if we are just invisible in a crowd or are just voiceless in the forest. There is so much useless chatter around us. So I applaud you for making your blog a priority. I found you through a link from Jon Katz. I too write a bit but, like what you did before, it is in a helter-skelter manner. Your words do make one think and are touching and thoughtful. So, for all the reasons you described above, writing is a good endeavor and I applaud your blog!
    – Jan


  2. Thank you Jan for your kind words. Do you have a blog? Can you pass on a link to it? I’ve met so many talented people through WordPress. We all are special and each have a unique way of looking at our own footprints in the world. So much writing talent goes by unseen, unheard. I urge you to join in.
    Jon Katz also has small writing classes in upstate NY. He is very encouraging and supportive. I hope you can meet him.


    • Hi Claudia. No, I don’t have a blog or website right now – perhaps one day. Right now most of my energy goes into trying to divest, sort through my art studio, cellar, etc. and ready our house to sell and make a move, after living here for 32 years. Many decisions, many small and some large, but all changes with major time and effort involved. So my writing has taken a back seat for now, although I do a bit, as I said, here and there. A blog will have to wait for now, but I have thought about it. Thanks for your encouragement.


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