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Cooks Cook. Dancers Dance. Writers Write. January 27, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Word Play, Writing & Writers.

For me, writing has always been about the journey, not the destination.  It’s not about going somewhere or achieving something . . . it’s about enjoying myself along the way.

I never decided to become a writer ~ I just wrote.  It is in the doing that we become.

Cooks cook.  Dancers dance.  Writers write.

From the time I entered school, I enjoyed playing with words.  I wrote silly poems, and sillier stories.  I wrote letters to friends and family members, and kept a journal with entries intended for my eyes only ~ my younger brother, a budding Private Eye, searched for that journal on a regular basis.  

Sometimes, I shared my writing with others; generally, I did not.  I wrote for the sheer sake of writing, and read for the sheer pleasure of enjoying words penned by other more experienced writers.

Cooks cook.  Dancers dance.  Writers write.

In high school, college, and law school, all that practice with reading and writing assisted me, especially on essay examinations and required papers on esoteric subjects.  Since I knew how to write a concise sentence, when other students apparently did not, professors gave me “bonus points.”  My grades reflected not only mastery of the subject matter under discussion, but  understanding of the English language as well.  

As an attorney, my communication skills stood me in good stead on a daily basis, allowing me to convey to judge and jury why my client deserved a verdict in his or her favor. 

In the non-profit arena, I found that good communication skills made my life that much easier, especially when writing grants to request money.  Being able to convey what we had done with money in the past enabled us to get more money, and continue our efforts to make the world a better place. 

Writing has eased my personal and professional life from the time I entered school until the present.  Writing enhances my life in almost the same way as knowing how to breathe  enhances my continued daily existence.

I breathe to stay alive.  I write to feel alive.

Cooks cook.  Dancers dance.  Writers write.

How about you?  Do you make time to enjoy your passions on a regular basis?  If not, why not?

Quote:  Do not delay; the golden moments fly!  ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  To Share . . . Or Not To ShareLife . . . A Journey, Not A DestinationOur Field Of Dreams * Our Internal Compass * Blogging:  A Waggish Waste of Time? * Writers Who Don’t Write (Courage2Create) * What Did You Want To Be . . . When You Grew Up (Footprints in the Sand)


1. Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 27, 2011

You couldn’t have stated your case any better! Well written, Writer! I only add one thing. . .”and laughers laugh!” I think the instinct and ability to laugh despite circumstances is another wonderful gift of life that one can be born with. It can be learned or taught, but “learned laughter” isn’t quite the same. By the same token, “learned writing’ is not the same either. Even though it can be good, and I am not averse to it, I believe that born writers turn out “product” with that certain something that cannot be learned.

I will probably always write – for better or worse – either by putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, or voice to Sonya – but I came to that writing by a rather circuitious route, and that route is not generally trod by born writers. It is not an exercise in self-condemnation to say that my writing is not in the same class as that of born writers. But in acknowledging it, I am empowered to move ahead, and improve, and ENJOY what I’m writing and what I’m reading. Because being a born laugher means I am a “born appreciater,” which makes my life – every day – such a wonder.

Thanks for such a well-thought out, well written post to a born writer from a born appreciater!

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

Wonderful comment, Paula.

For me, there have been very few days in my life that I have not written something.

There have been even fewer when I have not laughed at something.

Laughter prevents hardening of the attitudes.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 27, 2011

I can’t say that I have written every day, (laughing is another matter entirely! I suppose when I was in a coma I didn’t laugh much, but then again, who knows?), but I have “composed” daily – hourly, or more often – in my head all kinds of responses to what I observe or experience. I have written more letters that way, and a few books, and they are always perfect! 😀

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

You crack me up!

People who like the “idea of being a writer,” but who don’t bother to actually make time to write, are fooling themselves.

They see these stories in their heads but never bother to get them down on paper.

That makes them great imagineers, but rarely advances their writing prowess.

2. Cindy - January 27, 2011

I dance, I cook, I write … ;p

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

Exactly. It is in the doing that we become ~ whether it’s dancing, cooking, writing, singing, or soaring through life.

Even the caged bird sings. 🙂

Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 27, 2011

. . .and I know why! 😀

3. Greg Camp - January 27, 2011

Thomas Mann once wrote that a writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. I’ve found that to be true. For me, it’s a calling, and I’d feel ungrateful if I rejected the gift. Of course, my goal is to make a living by writing, something that would make practicing my passion easier to do.

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

Good point, Greg.

When we take the time to write, we realize how important EACH ingredient is to the success of the writing as a whole.

Self-proclaimed writers who don’t write are like parents without children ~ their imaginary children are always well behaved. 🙂

I enjoy the validation of publication, and I could benefit from earning at least a few $’s for my writing efforts, but if the Universe showed up at my door and said, “You shall NEVER earn a dime from your writing,” . . . I’d still write.

Writing is so much a part of my life that not writing for more than a day or two would seem like not breathing.

I’d be gasping for life!

4. Carol Ann Hoel - January 27, 2011

Nancy, what a great post! I love your beginning sentiment: It is in the doing that we become. I also appreciate repetition: Cooks cook. Dancers dance. Writers write.

Thank you for sharing more about your journey. I see you were a grant writer for a time. Kudos to you!

While acknowledging that there may be some negativity spewing from lawyer community, there is also much worthiness. I knew some very kind and honorable attorneys in my journey. Had I known you in the day, I would have included you in this revered group. You probably were still in law school then. Showing my age here…

Being able to pursue the desires of your heart is a gift from God to you. It is right that you should enjoy it. We are probably most useful (and valued) when we are engaged in doing what we were meant to do.

In answer to your question: I take time to write what’s in my heart. Some I share and some I keep between God and me. As important to me as writing is my husband, and I take time to enjoy him before other pursuits.

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

Wonderful comment and observations.

For ten years, one of my primary roles in the non-profit world was grant writing, and assuring compliance with the grant requirements.

I agree with you. I’ve known MANY stellar attorneys and judges. But the younger attorneys, in large part, seem more interested in VICTORY than INTEGRITY ~ that’s why I left.

When we engage in our passions, whatever they are, our connection with the divinity of life is strengthened.

When we claim the label, without first doing the work, the label is meaningless.

Enjoy your time with your husband. I know that you have challenges in your life and yet you remain a beacon to us all. Thanks, Carol Ann

5. Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 27, 2011

Well, I consider myself chastened, Nancy! 😀 Although I rather like the idea of being a “born imagineer!”

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

Aren’t we all?

Dreams and imagination have their purposes, but if we want to become writers, we must write.

How often do we see someone claim the label of “pianist” when they only play the occasional desultory note on the piano, with no effort to practice the craft?

6. suzicate - January 27, 2011

For me, writing has always been about the journey, not the destination. It’s not about going somewhere or achieving something . . . it’s about enjoying myself along the way.-thank you, as I say writing is as necessary as breathing to me. I once wrote about why I write. http://suzicate.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/why-i-write/

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

Awesome post, Suzi. I found myself nodding along with every sentiment you expressed.

Like you, my goal is to share my view of the world. Sometimes that entails sharing observations about interactions with others.

When I choose to do so, I strive to be honest by “showing not telling” what happened. I try to share the lesson without naming names or pointing fingers.

Do my observations sometimes step on toes? Yup. That’s a side effect of sharing our thoughts and our truth with others.

My motive is not to hurt, but to help people develop a more mindful way of living life ~ to be a bit more aware of their habitual responses to daily life.

Sometimes that requires painting a picture of the actions (and reactions) of those around me. I try not to characterize their actions, leaving it to my readers to interpret (if they must) the underlying motivations of all concerned.

Anyway, like you, writing is a necessary adjunct to my life. To stop writing would mean to stop interacting with the world at its most profound level. I’d just as soon stop breathing.

7. Booksphotographsandartwork - January 27, 2011

Great article, loved it.

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

Thanks, Linda! Shall we add a few more?

Photographers photograph.
Animal lovers love animals.

8. souldipper - January 28, 2011

Writing rejuvenates my whole being.

Like you, Nancy, using my writing skills in my financial/administrative careers gave me a heads up. One contract – I had to write the response letters to people who wrote to our Minister of Education. Aiyeeee! I’d do a paragraph and send it to the legal department. If it was acceptable, I’d write another paragraph. In using that material, today, I have visions of someone shouting out “For this one, use paragraphs 10, 4, 9 and 13. Then put it through the signature machine.”

No wonder the letters say nothing.

nrhatch - January 28, 2011

You are so right! Mix and match letters are de forma these days.

And lawyers rely much more often on “canned briefs” that are heavy on the law and light on the fact ~ just switch the plaintiffs’ names and, voila, instant representation.

9. thisendupside - February 1, 2011

I enjoyed reading this blog (cook, dance, write) and I enjoy all three activities, though I can’t say I’m a cook or a dancer or a writer – I’m just me. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to navigate this site (WordPress) and having a hard time. I’ve only blogged once … well, I blogged once before, but had a panic attack and deleted it because I imagined I would be mocked or (worse) ignored, or maybe just because I’ve never written publicly before and it’s a bit scary. The deleted blog was about training your mind to veer away from negative thoughts and find positive thoughts to reach for and float around in. I think in that way I’m going to stop being a pessimist and eventually become an optimist. Your words about water and thoughts reminded me of that poor aborted first blog of mine and my silliness in deleting it. Thank you for sharing.

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

That’s ironic ~ you wrote a blog about training your mind to veer away from negative thoughts and then your negative thoughts encouraged you to veer away from the blog. 😉

If you’re just starting out in the blogging world, you might want to check out Courage 2 Create ~ Ollin offers encouragement to writers who write . . . and writers who don’t.

His latest post also offers the chance to hire him for Blog Consultations:

Blog Consultation {Limited Time Only}: I managed to make my blog a Top Ten Blog in less than a year. I can share with you all the tools and skills you need to make your blog the best it can be and reach the audience you’ve been going after. Blogging is a great skill to have in the modern age and it’s rare that an expert offers to give you one-on-one advice. Take advantage of it right away, because I don’t plan on offering this service for very long. Use my contact page to get in touch with me and we can discuss the details.

Here’s the link:


Enjoy the journey as the path unfolds before you.

10. When You Have Something To Say « Spirit Lights The Way - November 2, 2012

[…] Related posts:  Why I Write (Janna T Writes) * Why Write? * Cooks cook.  Dancers dance.  Writers Write. […]

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