Monday, February 24, 2014


“I wish I could paint without me existing – that just my hands were there.  When I’m alone in the woods, across the fields, I forget all about myself. I don’t exist… but if I’m suddenly reminded of myself, that I’m me – then everything falls to pieces”Andrew Wyeth

Over the years, I have read many writing how-to books and tutorials.  There are so many that I can’t keep all of the tips and rules straight in my head.  Some have taught me entirely new information and others have reminded me of the writing rules I should have remembered from school.  None of them were the magic cure for my writer’s block.

The trick for me has been shushing myself and allowing my art to exist.

Does this sound confusing, the artist trying to lose herself in order to create her art?  After all, the artist has to exist in order to create. Right?  Well, yes. It is my mind, my body, and my imagination that produces my work. However, I understand Wyeth’s comment completely.

If I try to remember the rules, or worry about the expectations of others, I am not able to write.  If I set my imagination free and let it roam on it’s own, I am able to write. I must squelch the thoughts of rules, of chores and of the never-ending lists of things I must do.  I cannot allow my mind to wander into the realm of bills to be paid, chores to be done, and upcoming appointments blocks.  I am a slow writer, but I know that I write better and more productively when my mind isn’t stuck in the “what-ifs” and trying to figure out the rules before I write.

I also write better after I have had an emotional experience of some kind.  I am fortunate that I have had such an experience this weekend when I visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.  The conservatory was bustling, despite snow still covering the ground outside.  The Orchid Extravaganza was in full swing.  The sights, the sounds, and the heavenly scents rejuvenated my writing spirit. And like a child, I gazed with wide-eyed and open-mouthed wonder.  I lost myself and found plenty to write. 

I am excited that I am able to share this wonderful experience at Longwood Gardens with you. 

Image Credit: ©Dawn Rae – All Rights Reserved (Click on photo for larger view)


  1. There is nothing like an emotional experience to help the writers block. Thank you for an interesting article. I'm off to see your lens.

  2. The Andrew Wyeth quote really speaks to me, as does your reflection. The more we can ignore the rigid editor in our head while writing, the better off our art will be. Emotion definitely primes the pump. Every writer needs experiences that rejuvenate the creative spirit. This post is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your wonder.

  3. This is so fabulous! I frequently have to immerse myself to find the inspiration needed to write and shut out the outside daily nuisances. Now, I have to admit, I am a bit envious of you. I do love botanical gardens and Longword Gardens sound like the perfect retreat. Your articles always speak to my heart!

  4. What a lovely sentiment and post. Sometimes tips and how-to's are the best advice when they tell you to silence all the rules, regulations and expectations and just write. Your message comes across softly but very clear. Bravo, Dawn! That's art anyway you look at it!

  5. How exciting it is to have met you on Squidoo and to be able to share in your Mid-Atlantic travels, as well as your personal writing experience. I've learned to just write from my heart and it comes naturally. I apply the rules in editing mode afterwards. Both have their place.

  6. No matter what kind of writer a person is, they can always use great inspiration. And you provided it. Yes, your fabulous tour of Longwood Gardens written through a Squidoo lens was inspirational. But your article here was equally so. Thanks for reminding us all that good writing comes from the heart, the soul and the passion. Let the "head" chime in later!


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