Writer Chats, Part XIII: Into My Body

Today’s entry comes from Kris Osborne of 80twenty. It originally appeared, in longer form and with a recipe, in her August 8 post about writing, and I liked what she had to say so much, I asked if we could reprint the first part of it here. If you aren’t already familiar with Kris and her blog, she pursues studies in naturopathic medicine and named her blog for the 80/20 principle of eating highly nutrient-dense, healing foods 80% of the time and not worrying about the other 20%. I like that. 

writerchat-KRIS

Writing feels challenging right now. There’s so much to say, and yet this space feels too vast to say it in, like the words will just float away and disappear, leaving me empty. I also know though that if held too close, words can have a way of imprinting themselves on me. Everything feels uprooted—much of it good (trust), but too much uprooting and a girl can start to lose her balance. So I try to write to ground myself.

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Writer Chats, Part XII: My Books Tell My Stories

Speaking of blogging, our friend Lindsey, formerly of the blog Pas de Deux, recently launched her site, The Next Course, all about the ways cooking affects our lives and food blogging affects our culture. She’s the kind of person who asks questions like, “Do you think food blogging is a form of activism?” and “What’s it like to cook together? Last week, she highlighted our braised Roma beans and featured an interview we did with her a few weeks back—so we’re honored to get to return the favor in a small way today, sharing her writing thoughts. Have you thought about how your home library tells your story? Books as biographies! I like this concept.

writerchat-lindsey

These days I find myself carrying two or three notebooks at a time, each with its own purpose – one for note-taking, another for list-making, another for journaling, etc. Despite my attempts to keep these functions separated, in moments of desperation when words start forming in my mind and the proper journal is out of reach, I write on whatever I can find – the wrong journal, the backs of receipts, and even in the margins of books.

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Writer Chats, Part XI: To Toil

Today, we celebrate two birthdays: this blog’s and Amy’s. While long-time readers know I tend to turn nostalgic on this anniversary every year, today I’m saving those emotions for our newsletter (it goes out this afternoon! you can still subscribe!), and Amy’s bringing you her thoughts on writing here instead. Amy (PureWellnessAmy.com) is a stay-at-home mom, former publishing company project manager and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She wrote this entry about the ways that writing is like (hard, sweat-inducing) work, and we hope you find it as encouraging as we did. Happy birthday, Amy! Happy birthday, blog!

writerchat-amy

For me, to write is to toil. Every so often there is a day when the words flow effortlessly, like honey from a hive. Recently I was blessed with the flow after my family and I experienced seven days in a less than ideal country house. Without getting into too much detail let me just say that there were bats. Inside of the house. I became possessed by the Disgruntled Vacationer Writing Fairy and I feverishly wrote a masterpiece of a comment on the travel site through which we booked the house. I hardly thought at all; the words (ok, steaming hot vitriol) streamed out of my fingertips and seared themselves onto the screen. That ease of writing is a rarity for me and it felt so good.

Often when I’m writing a story, I picture myself as a cavewoman (a cute one, like Betty Rubble) sitting on the ground outside of my cave with my legs in the butterfly pose with a large rock between the soles of my feet.

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Writer Chats, Part X: Confessions of a Writer

Here we are with part ten of the Writer Chats series, brought to you by Asha, a writer who combines stories and recipes at her food blog Dinner She Wrote. Like us, Asha believes that “what speaks to me, speaks to another,” and perhaps that’s why I resonate so much with what she’s written here. When she talks about her challenging relationship with writing as a love she keeps coming back to, I get it. When she explains how the power of connection can be intoxicating, I get that, too. And her conclusion is the same one I keep coming to: Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing.

writerchat-asha

Writing is a relationship like no other. Despite the challenges we’ve had over the years, and the ones yet to come, despite the months of silence or the fraught late night frustrations, despite the constant inner doubts and the numerous unfinished projects gathering dust on the shelf of my dreams, I always, always come back to my pen and paper; and I try. I try to find a way to make it work. Why? I’m not sure that love needs an explanation. I write because I love to write. I write because I am a writer.

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Writer Chats, Part IX: Finding My Writing Voice

Today’s entry in the Writer Chats series comes from the Los Angeles-based mom and writer who cultivates the beautifully photographed, inspiring blog, French Foodie Baby. Helene’s posts are filled with real-food-focused recipes, often with photos of her adorable son, Pablo, and I have to tell you, as I’ve told her, that she is one of the top bloggers with whom I would like someday to spend some offline time. From her perspective on food to her series of transparent menu plans for her growing son, Helene is a treasure. Below are her thoughts on what writing has looked like for her.

writerchat-helene

When I started reading this Writer Chats Series, I must admit I felt a bit envious. Of writers talking about how they cannot live without writing, how they love it and can’t imagine not doing it. I wish that were my case, and perhaps I’m getting there. But mostly, I have had a love/hate dysfunctional long-distance relationship with writing for many years.

I always felt like I had so much to express, and yet felt blocked by the daunting blank page, using the busyness of daily life to keep me away from the blank page. But some guilt and regret lingered, and the blank page kept beckoning somehow.

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Writer Chats, Part VIII: Training Wheels

The number of days I have spent with Joanna in person, you could count on two hands—but sometimes, like when she writes me an email full of wisdom or, like a few weeks ago, when she passes two hours like nothing (!!) with me on the phone, I think how this woman is one of the best friends I’ve ever been given. She is a breath of fresh air, a kind of big-time magazine editor, and, also, a gifted thinker and writer. We’re so happy to be sharing her helpful and inspiring thoughts, in part eight of our Writer Chats series.

writerchat-joanna

With almost everything in me, I want to write a novel. I want to tell stories that reveal truth, that change hearts, that make readers feel something.

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