Sunday, November 15, 2009


Someone I respect deeply once said that wholeness is far more important than balance. Wholeness indicates a peace and satisfaction that few are familiar with; whereas balance can feel fragmented and similar to a juggling act.

I have been thinking lately that I need to find a balance between writing for myself and writing to be published. However, that quotation emerged from my memory today and struck me with new force.

It is not that I need to find balance in my writing. On the contrary, my writing must be irresistibly whole. When you read confident, healthy, and hearty writing, are you not drawn to it? Even if on the surface it may not be your style, isn’t it attractive?

That is the sort of writing I want to create.

There is an archetype of writers, forged in the likeness of Hemingway, that insists creative minds must be tormented and unsatisfied. I believed this for a long time and used it to avoid confronting my own battle against depression. However, I now see that becoming healthy is my best bet for becoming a better writer.

It takes courage to stop juggling all of the worries in our lives and seek wholeness. Still, it is undoubtedly a quest that is worth each and every challenge.

This week, think about how your emotional state impacts your writing. I would love to hear what you discover (or perhaps what you already knew.)


  1. Dear Kate,
    First of all, thank you for what you wrote today on my post about my mother. You humbled me, truly. I had no idea that what I had to say would really mean anything to anyone else. Thank you.

    I am at my best writing when I am fully involved, particularly when my emotions run high, as they did last night. The words flow, I do almost no editing, and the outcome is usually deeply satisfying, to me, at least.

    I have followed your post with interest because you have things to say, and you say them extremely well. You are a writer, period. And a good one.

    The idea that creativity springs from conflict and torment may well be true for some, but I would speculate that many more writers simply have the ability to take a long look at what goes on in the lives and minds of human beings, including themselves, and have access to the words to describe that. I don't write well, or even have the urge to write when I'm feeling low, so there's certainly no brilliance that will ever come out of my blueness.

    And I would encourage you to write for yourself, while considering that there definitely is an audience for your work. Someone suggested to me recently that I write to a particular reader, which I may try to the fiction I write, but the essays I do seem just to be offered to the universe. :)

  2. My emotional state definitely affects what I write or perhaps it's vice versa. I can never tell. :) I am interested to hear what other writers say.


  3. Oh my, how my emotional state affects my writing! Wholeness must be a wonderful place to be and you are right, reading words written from this place is certainly attractive. I do not write from a whole place but I am inspired to keep striving to get there when I read your words.

  4. Dear Deborah,
    I am so encouraged by your comments. I totally agree that no brilliance comes out of blueness and I love the way you describe the flow and satisfaction of writing. It is certainly true that writing is also the art of observing and describing. Having the words to depict what we see is truly a gift and a craft.
    Thank you for sharing your insights with me.

    Dear Deb,
    I am also eager to hear what others say. Thank you for commenting.

    Dear Shattered,
    I deeply appreciate your comments. Truly, wholeness is a journey. We all need others to spur us on to look up from the broken places we sit and long for something different and better. That is why I love reading and writing.