“Write passively…” is a phrase I stumbled upon this week. I don’t know where, I don’t know how – it literally flashed before my eyes on a screen and got me thinking…

Am I living a passive life? Am I being manipulated into non-action?

I think, in an as non-1984 way as possible, I am (and thus, we are). It’s less dangerous to live in passivity; one’s impact is certainly lessened by inactivty, by apathy and all other dangerous afflictions.

What was especially convicting to me was the phrase “write passively.” I am a writer by heart, and lately I have been yearning to write, to create, to express. And yet, I haven’t made time to do so. I think about it, I can pencil it into my schedule, but unless I carve out a significant portion of time to dedicate to my craft, I cannot do it at all. Busy-ness trumps creativity, unfortunately.

But you know what? I have time. I make time for things I need to do. I make time for things I don’t need to do, but should do. And so on.

This, a soul-refreshing desire of my inner being, should be prioritized. It should be honored.

And thus, I begin a new campaign: write!active.

write!active is half-personal pledge, half-social movement aimed at getting us off our chairs, our noses out of our planners, our eyes away from Facebook, our fingers off the cell phone keypad, and back to where we really need to be: in front of the blank page.


So what does this mean? To have initiative, to be forward, to be purposeful in finding significant time and effectively using words to communicate beautifully. To be intentional in pushing through the obstacles and writing for the sake of writing, not just for academic demands or work-related assignments.

As far as creative writing goes, we can’t sit back [passively], waiting for inspiration to come to us. We must stretch out, search for the golden kernel of truth, hunt down the right words and snatch them.

Last night I went to a reading, given by Nelly Rosario, a writer originally from the Dominican Republic and raised in Brooklyn. Her first novel, Song of the Water Saints, was published last year.

“Writers need time,” Rosario said, “and that’s the hardest thing about writing.”

“Once you make the decision [to write], you just trust – it’s a lot of trust and a lot of faith. Commit yourself to an idea and go until the end.”

Rosario asked a question crucial to the writing process: “What is the truth you’re wanting to say, right now?”

*     *     *     *     *     *

So what is it? What’s your story? Where is the truth?

Where does your pen want to take you?

Where do you want to take your pen?



5 thoughts on “write!active

  1. create – make: make or cause to be or to become.
    by definition, something has to be MADE, and cannot just exist! but be warned, dear erin, it may be just as counterproductive to write just for the sake of writing!

  2. Such a true point, thanks for your thoughts! I do believe that any good endeavor requires intentionality and discipline, even if it’s unpleasant or “forced” at first. When we want to improve, we apply ourselves diligently.
    And writing for the sake of writing isn’t such a bad thing–at least we are creating! 🙂

  3. 2010 in review – This is actually pretty cool! « Moveable Feast

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