The Writing Spirit: A short video about the writer’s soul

bookTake a look at this short video, and consider some of the things these writers say about the nature of the soul and the force inside of you that pushes you to become a writer.

Some of the ideas are, in their way, a little disturbing, because once again (as in the mythos of the ‘divinely inspired writer’) we get the sense that the urge to write is somehow outside our conscious control, that it’s forced upon us by something deep within us.

Some would call this our ‘soul,’ while others just accept ‘the voices,’ as one writer in the video calls them. When we divorce the urge to write from mystical-sounding metaphors, though, what remains?

5 thoughts on “The Writing Spirit: A short video about the writer’s soul

  1. What a lovely and timely video! Thank you for posting this, Alison! I believe that our ‘need’ to be creative in innate. It is human. Just like our need to love or to communicate. It’s the ability to recognize the utter joy and deep pain this expression of creativity can give you, that stems from the soul. For the writer, the expression of this creativity comes in words – from reading them and writing them – just like for a painter or a musician the expression comes in paint or through music. If I did not write, if I did not listen to the deep urges to express my creativity in this manner, then I would not be ‘me’. Period.

    • It is so true, and I thank YOU for commenting and saying such important things. See, this is the thing: I believe pretty much everyone who wants to write, but is not, for one reason or another, is feeling these things. They might be inarticulate at the moment, but they’d like to feel like it’s okay to express themselves. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve encountered through the years who confess that they “always wanted to write.” Just typing that makes me feel sad. They hold themselves back because they believe some combination of societal messages that squelch their desire and creativity. This, to me, is the fundamental truth that makes each of us human: we need to express ourselves somehow. It does not have to be through writing, but for those who do want to write, I want to help them find a way to do so. It starts by being able to “listen to the deep urges” each person has, and to make the leap to being able to “express [their] creativity in this manner.” Thanks for putting it so beautifully!

  2. My favourite quote EVER about the ‘need’ to be write:
    “Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you write. This above all – ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple “I must,” then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it.”
    Rainer Maria Rilke, ‘Letters To A Young Poet’.
    When I read this I am SO INSPIRED. I can feel this ‘need’ in my soul standing ovation and cheering!

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