Relaxing into Writing

I used to log onto various online writing sites with a username I thought wonderfully apt: wordchaser. That term epitomized the writing process for me, a sometimes rewarding and always frustrating hunt for the best words. There were no shortcuts, scant rewards, certainly no room for fun.

Over time, my thoughts on writing began to change. While the process will always be a challenge, I’ve come to realize that it needn’t be an adversarial arrangement. I can actually relax a bit, loosen the reins. The words I want are out there and if I am patient and attentive, I can coax them in, if not now, then soon. I can even rise from my chair and do something else, and while I am sleeping or eating or vacuuming, the words arrive on their own. I go back to my desk and the sentence I had rewritten a hundred times is suddenly, strangely, there.

The well is always filling. I can trust it. I can look up from the page and enjoy another view, and no harm will come to the story. There will be more words and more stories.

Oh, I still hunt now and then, but these days I do more word charming than chasing.

Published by

Jean Ryan

Jean Ryan, a native Vermonter, lives in Napa, California. Her stories and essays have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. She has also published a novel, LOST SISTER. Her short story collections, SURVIVAL SKILLS and LOVERS AND LONERS, are available online. STRANGE COMPANY, a collection of short nature essays, is available in paperback as well as digital and audio editions.

6 thoughts on “Relaxing into Writing

  1. Woman-I am astounded by the stories that come out of your head! You are wonderful and your talent is amazing. You never give up, I admire that so much. Can’t wait to turn the next page….

  2. I love eveything you write. I love you and am always anxious to read your new work. I envy your talent. I used to write and wished I could really write anything other than the jumbled mess in my head. I am honored to consider you my friend. You are amazing never think differently. Maybe someday I will be able to tell the story of how I became who I am and the journey I took to get here. You are a big part of me accepting me. Keep it up I am your biggest fan. Love you… 🙂

  3. You write with astounding truth and beauty–somehow horribly purifying. It was a pleasure to meet you. Your fiction goes straight to my bones. Thank you.

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