all that matters is what you leave on the page

I was all ready to write a blog about writing – or rather the big uptick in my ability to prioritize writing.

And then I got into a live chat with Bell about my internet bill. And now all I want to do is rant.

Ranting has been no small part of my blogging experience to date.

I’ve written about education issues, specifically special education funding (on several occasions), violence in schools, the importance of voting, and a reality check for the Wynne government about what life is really like for Educational/Teaching Assistants.

We all pay too much for the internet. We all are with companies who by and large have sub par customer service.

Rant over.

Writing, on the other hand, is something I’d like to stand on the rooftop and shout about.

I am enrolled in a writing class through the University of Toronto which means deadlines and assignments and all sorts of parameters to make my big daily resolution to ‘prioritize writing’, well, a priority.

This week, there were readings, daily writing exercises and an assignment. There are three discussion threads going and this is the most engaged group I’ve been ‘in class’ with in all the courses I’ve taken. People really want to be here.

It’s been a great week of writing.

Another big support for writing is a writer’s group in Toronto. I head to east Toronto every Friday afternoon and write (or read, or think) for 3+ hours. There is complete silence, other than the occasional pouring of a cup of tea (which in a very quiet space is quite loud). For a brief bit at the end, we chat.

It’s been a great month of writing.

A final act of prioritizing writing is to create a permanent space in the house for writing. And that was the easiest part – we had all the pieces and I simply had to pull them together.

I know that not every day or week or month will go this well. And there’s been definite struggles. I could not find the words to describe the snow outside this morning (and not because I was up til 3:30 a.m. – I simply could not find words to capture the beauty).

Writing is hard and illusive.

And wonderful.


One of the readings from my course this week is by Zadie Smith. The article, Rules for Writers, is from 2010. Smith’s rules are an interesting mix, and one speaks strongly to something I am slowly accepting: “You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle’. All that matters is what you leave on the page.”

all that matters is what you leave on the page

Simple, but not. I am in the stage of leaving everything on the page – freewriting and letting the thoughts pour out. Editing will come later and will help me only leave behind the words that really matter.

Stay tuned.

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