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write the joy

Writers write for many reasons. For me, it’s all about the joy.

Writing the joy means not only writing what you know – the advice given to writers probably since the beginning of time – but writing about what makes you happy. The people, the places, the passions that fuel you. The words themselves that feel good to say and even better to write down and relive. The colors and shadings of nature, of cities, of places visible and those only dreamt about. The things that you’ve seen and heard, tasted and touched, felt with your fingertips and caressed with your soul.

Write the joy of a cerulean blue ceramic bowl filled with a pile of richly colored oranges (and enjoy, with an internal “ahh,” the use of cerulean and ceramic in a single phrase). Immerse yourself in the pleasure of finding the words to describe looking at a glass of ruby-red cabernet, glints of light captured in its depths, and seeing the world as if through a jeweled lens.

Describe the perfect cup of cocoa – write until you can see the creamy color, smell the irresistible lure of the chocolate, taste the sweetness. Until you can feel the comfortable weight of the warm mug in your hand. And until you can remember the very first time you ever tasted cocoa and all the joyful memories that evokes.

Find the words to paint autumn in New England. Leaves of scarlet and gold, amber and purple, deep dark green – all against the bluest of skies. Or New York in the spring – towers of grey and silver punctuated by bodega buckets of tulips in pink and coral and bright red.

Write down how you feel about the person you love most in the world – or describe his kind eyes; her gentle touch; the way he saves you the comics and the crossword from the paper each day; the way she saves you the edges of the brownies because she knows those are your favorite pieces.

I write the joy because it evokes pure elation. Because it allows me to capture, craft, and create small, exquisite moments in time through lines on a page. Because it restores my faith in the power of words to make something beautiful. And because it makes me happy.

Joy to the girl.

©2021 Claudia Grossman

6 comments on “write the joy

  1. This is one of your best columns–good advice well offered!

  2. So beautiful—–

  3. Good advice is not always taken. I urged a would-be-writer friend to write about why she thinks mashed potatoes are beautiful. (I think they are — if prepared properly, that is.) She couldn’t do it. Does that me she isn’t cut out to be a writer, or that she doesn’t really love mashed potatoes?

    • Maybe she finds mashed potatoes yummy but not beautiful. Or maybe writing about mashed potatoes isn’t something that brings her joy (but writing about her kitchen might)? 😊💗

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