In the essay, Why We Make Art, Richard Chess invites readers into the conversation he had with himself, with his page, about writing, reflection, and mindfulness. He contemplates the craft of writing as he considers thoughts on writing by one of his undergraduate students, “Writing as practice: choosing the precise word; tuning each sentence to the perfect pitch.” But he pulls back as he says writing is not that simple, and neither are the topics we write about because life is not that simple. So he then offers this notion to reflect on, “It’s easy as a writer to be unmovable and caught up in thinking there’s only one way of writing and telling a story, and believing that’s the only correct way in which to tell it.” Most writers come to realize that statement lacks certain truths and that in reality there are many paths towards and within a piece of writing.
Chess offers some things to consider:
Who you actually are is far bigger than the narrative you construct about who you are.
Our lives are simply bigger than thought.
Pay attention to what you are experiencing directly through your senses in this moment, including the sense of being embodied, before you clothe it in any kind of narrative.
Question and investigate in an open, curious, and systematic way who we are and where we are going.
See for yourself how things might actually be behind the veil of appearances and the stories we are so skilled at telling ourselves about how things are.
Creativity, making, writing very much involve giving yourself permission to involve all five of your senses, slowing down to take in the moment, give yourself permission to wonder, and write with a sense of vulnerability, in search of truths to allow you to say what you want and need to say.