Writing as essential maintenance and repair

Today was one of those days where something goes askew in the brain or elsewhere in the body and I felt inexplicably miserable. What brought me out of it, after a little musical and literary sympathy from Mssrs Oberst and Tan, was writing myself into the place I felt I needed to be – in this case, the gorgeous hills and vineyards, just to the North-East of Melbourne (remembering them at about this time of year, incidentally).

This approach, of writing as both a way of working through things and of connecting with the world, is the beautiful kernel of Writing Our Way Home and A River Of Stones. The latter in particular draws on some of the observational traditions we see in Japanese poetry, using writing as a way of developing a better sense of connection with the world around us; the former aims to foster a sense of community in such writings. Whether you join the community or not (after all, the writing and observing are more important than more time on-line!), these sites and their related books are a good reminder of how brilliant writing can be for exploration and a spot of mental repair, and also offer abundant inspiration if you need a little push to get started.

You might also care to pop by A Handful of Stones, which is a “small stone” blogzine with a broader scope, including fiction. There are some gorgeous pieces there – only bite-sized and yet often completely satisfying.

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