Writers Need Writers Need Counselors Need Artists and Singers

A friend and I drove over the San Francisco Bay Bridge with a high wind warming last night into San Francisco to hear Jeannette Winterson read from her new book, a memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? You could tell by the crowd’s questions that it was a great group of readers and writer who came out on such a stormy night.

Jeanette talked about how living in the country and being alone a lot with her writing suited her. You could sense from her energy that after surviving her mother’s zealot feelings about religion, she felt invaded and preferred to be alone. She was a great model for finding healing in her writing and wishing to be happy and not what her mom would call “normal.”

Questions from the audience of extroverts were not so comfortable about the aloneness of writing. They get their energy from other people and being alone so much can be very difficult.

We need writing from both the introverts and the extroverts. Winterson’s Oranges are Not the Only Fruit was deliciously funny but quite psychologically probing.  Around the World with A Headache (can’t remember author, at this moment) was one of the funniest books I’ve read from a steward on a plane. It was just what I needed in the moment.

The answer that Winterson gave that if you can’t be alone, you’re in the wrong profession is correct for her. That’s how it feels to her given her adjustment to her background. And, we readers and writers are happy to have her.

However, we are not all made of the same cloth and each personality has a different balance to find for themselves. I need to be alone to restore my energy after being out with people and love the solitude. However, I get lonely after a while. For instance, today I will stay in and write and maybe take a swim on this dizzily California late winter day. Tomorrow, however, I will meet a friend and go to San Francisco to see the new show at the Jewish Museum. shows. There is a show on the use of Trees in the Jewish Religion. I love trees and trust I will gain new ideas for my poetry and memoir writing. It will be good to be with a friend and to feel a sense of inspiration. I love the sharing that with this particular friend who has a more intellectual process but, somehow, we meet on ideas.

We need many things to become on-going writers. We need authors to read and learn their perspective. We need to meet authors to get a sense from where they are coming in their life and writings.  What we can learn from them. We need alone time to create. Inspiration from whatever source is important.  And, not best of all, but very important, we need a friend to share our inspiration and new ideas.

On we go into the writing life. Oh, and if you can’t find it on your own and sometimes it’s very difficult, use some sessions with a creative counselor to help you find tools to balance. It’s those tools that will carry you through.

Excuse me now, time to write. Must turn on the opera first.


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