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Slices Of Soul


~Anyone Can Write. Really?

Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down The Bones, says anyone can become a writer.

Sorry Nat, I disagree.

That’s sort of like implying anyone can fly with the Blue Angels,

Or anyone can audition out for the Bolshoi Ballet,

Or anyone can become President of the United States.

It’s simply not realistic.

Sure, one can take lessons, learn the techniques, memorized the steps, & study the electrical panels, but without passion and slices of soul, without lungs and heart, one is, well, merely ordinary.

I ask you: Is ordinary enough? Is ordinary what you want?

What I mean is, do you write dishonestly, mindlessly, without blood?

If you answered yes, stop reading. This post will not interest you.

~Write Your Experience

Look around. Your narrative, dialogue, and storyline is directly in front of you.

Look at your own bizarre, remarkable family.   Weeeeirdos!

Those, them, that is your material!

We all have ‘um. Right?

The auntie who looks like her lips have a hundred bee stings since the botox was inserted like water. You see, she despises aging, but it doesn’t matter a damn— you love, love, love her because she’d wrap her warm fur coat around you when you were a kid and it smelled of vanilla, peppermint schnapps, Tabu perfume, & basil.

What about the sister who was murdered by her husband of 25 years? She didn’t reveal much information about what happened between closed doors, but you read about the unhappiness, hopelessness, & darkness in her remaining journals. Why didn’t she tell you, ask for help? He was always a son-of-a-bitch.

 
Hoarding the information for yourself is stupid like hiding a candle in the corner of a dim room.

Everything goes deeper than what we first imagined.

Everything.

Remember the film, “A Few Good Men?”

That extraordinary scene where Jack Nicholson roars, “You can’t handle the truth!”

Yes. Yes, I can.

This is the kind of writing I want to read and this is the kind of writing I want to write.

How about you?

~Make Them Feel Alive

Nobody has the same narrative as you, the same experience, the same family dynamics.

Nobody.

You are extraordinary. You are exceptional.

You are a fucking super star.

Let me tell you something. Don’t forget this.

It doesn’t matter a damn if you have a MFA in Writing, or if you’ve read every ‘how to write’ book in the library, or if you’ve graduated from Harvard.

 
If you don’t dig deep inside and remove something of yourself to give your readers…

 

…you’ve lost them.   Remember,  if you don’t feel–The reader will not feel either.

Give them something they can identify with, something that makes their pulse quicken, something that makes them angry, laugh, cry, and mostly, something that makes them feel fully alive.

 

—For example, a beating heart is sufficient.

 

~~~~Dear, Reader, name a book, poem, or short story that kicked your ass, made you feel, dug deep, & gave you something to ponder?  xxX

 


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122 Comments

  • Reply
    Barbara
    January 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    This is so perfect. ‘You have to bleed on the page’, I remember reading that but can’t remember who wrote it. Was it you? When I see all these ‘how to’ blog posts about writing that give you prompts I think…how genuine is that going to be? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a suggested topic jog a memory and turn into a post worth writing, but most times they seem hollow.

    I totally agree that having a story to tell does not require a degree. Just a good editor. If it doesn’t resonate with you, give you pause as you write, bring YOU to tears as you write, or make you laugh…it won’t move anyone else either.

    Love this post!
    xob
    Barbara recently posted..Aging…It’s Not Pretty!My Profile

  • Reply
    debbie
    January 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    You are so right Kim….The first book that ever made me really, really feel something was Catcher in the Rye….wow….
    debbie recently posted..Cocoa Fudge CookiesMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 23, 2014 at 5:39 am

      Debbie,
      I read “Catcher” years ago. Must go back to appreciate it! xx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sandra
    January 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    My dear Kim, I felt like you wrote this just for me. I often wonder if I write some of the things I really want to will I turn my readers be turned off. Or if they want to hear the gut wrenching absurd stuff or just the recipes. You have given me lots to think about and I appreciate it and you.
    Sandra recently posted..SwirlsMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 23, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Sandra,
      I did write it ‘just for you!’

      I appreciate you, too. xx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Joe Peterson
    January 19, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Kim, this is why I feel so connected to you. This is precisely why I believe so many followed Kel’s CarinBridge – it wasn’t fluff, it was my heart. I find it easy to write what I feel – not an easy task for many, but like you, I am free to share my heart, pain and love for anyone willing to read it.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 23, 2014 at 5:41 am

      Joe,
      the thing is, people know what they want….

      & they want the heart, the soul.
      They want to “FEEL.”

      Xxx LUV U.
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    lisa
    January 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    This is great, Kim!
    It has also served as a reminder that other than so many of your posts, I have not read anything in quite a while that has evoked these emotions. Got to get on the ball!!!
    xo.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 23, 2014 at 5:42 am

      Lisa,
      you do this precise thing w/ your photos.

      I Feel Them inside my bones. XXxx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Carolyn Hughes
    January 19, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I love how you remind us all that we are all unique and that we all have something to say, but it has to be something real about ourselves. For me there is no point in writing unless it provokes an emotion. Doesn’t matter to me what the emotion is, good or bad, as long as it’s a reaction.
    And your posts always make me feel a huge range of emotions that help me connect not just with you, but with myself. I love that!
    And you are so right – You are a fucking super star! xxoo
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 23, 2014 at 5:43 am

      And you, my dear, are a fucking super star.

      you. give. everything. when. you. write. Xxx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kathy
    January 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    LOVE this post, Kim. I agree–anyone can write, NOT everyone can WRITE! One author who always manages to kick my ass is Margaret Atwood. Two of my favorite Atwood novels are Cat’s Eye and the Handmaid’s Tale–but, gosh, her poetry is stunning, also.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 23, 2014 at 5:44 am

      Kathy,
      Atwood was one of my first exposures to GREAT words!

      Love to you, dearest. xx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    vanita
    January 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Hello Beautiful! you are sooo right. If I can’t feel you through your words, what’s the point? our dear friend vidya wrote a story about her mom as part of a collaboration. the piece moved me to tears. It’s called a cup of piece. http://vidyasury.com/2013/12/composers-for-relief-a-cup-of-peace.html
    hugs to you Kim!
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  • Reply
    Elephant's Child
    January 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    So many writers (you included) make me bleed with them, weep with them. laugh until I am in danger of wetting myself and think. A gift. A gift I cherish.
    And no, everyone may have a story in them, but some of them bore me to sobs (or irritate me) in getting it out.
    Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Barbara Kingsolver and rather a lot more are always on my go to list.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 23, 2014 at 5:45 am

      Dear S.
      I always look forward to what you have to say! Fabulous stuff. xxx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mike
    January 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Oh my gosh you’ve done it again with a spectacular post! This so resonates with me, Kim! The huge bond I have to you is that your writing is completely stripped down naked. And you say to us the reader, “This is me…” I love YOU and your writing! I absolutely hated English in school and paid no attention. Math was my forte’ and still is (well, old school math). But, I always wrote my stories. In correct English structure? No. I write how I talk and think. I’m a storyteller and it’s up to the reader whether I’m good or not. And I’m definitely not ordinary ha, ha. You always give me such inspiration to continue to push the envelope and take more chances. You are such a blessing to us. Always your’s, me and Phoenix 🙂
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  • Reply
    Red Dwyer
    January 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    When I write, I envision dipping a quill in blood with every tap of my nails on the keyboard. I refuse to write less. My books have reviews that attest what I write grabs the soul.

    I have been less influenced by what I have read than what I write, for indeed much of what I have read was gutless babble. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner shook me. I read all of it, not the snippet we had in literature. It had heart. It bled.

    Much love to you Kimmy. You are a super star. <3 xxx
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  • Reply
    lisa thomson
    January 19, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Ooooh, Kim I love this post. It’s so inspiring! It’s hard to pick only one story or novel that kicked my butt. Pride & Prejudice made a big impact on me the first time I read it. Beach Music by Pat Conroy. Breathing Lessons by Ann Tyler! The Bridges of Madison County because it had the eternal choice of love over practicality.

    I’m so sad that Kay was reluctant to share her pain in her marriage. I think it’s quite normal though, to go along and pretend everything is fine when we’re dying inside. It’s our pride or perceived shame.
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Lisa,
      I LOVED Bridges.
      Kay and I talked in length about how we WANTED Meryl Streep to leave that truck and go w/ Clint!!

      Xxxx

  • Reply
    Hotly Spiced
    January 19, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I totally agree. Saying everyone can write is like saying everyone can dance. I know I can’t dance and I know, that no amount of dancing lessons is going to improve the situation because I wasn’t born with any talent. It’s the same with singing. I can sing but I will never be a singer. It annoys me when people say anyone can write because it lowers the craft to being ordinary, mediocre and something so simple, anyone can do it. Even those with incredible writing talent struggle with their craft. Sure, anyone can have a go just like I can have a go at singing and dancing.
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Dear Charlie,
      It’s about the PASSION & heart & soul…

      with these elements, I believe we can do anything (Almost)!! Xxx

  • Reply
    Aussa Lorens
    January 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb. (I hope I got that right, I’m writing from memory). That book so perfectly captured the soul of the main character… that it almost hurt to read it. The main character is a woman. And the author is a man. I don’t even know how he managed to write her so perfectly… When I finished that book, I remember thinking “I will never write as well as this.” But that was okay, because it was just that good.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Aussa,
      After reading SHE’S COME UNDONE, I remember thinking ‘how the hell could a MAN write this?’

      This kind of man has my heart!

      LOVE! xx

  • Reply
    Susan Boswell
    January 19, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    argh.. I think my previous post got lost… let’s try again.

    I love this quote: “If you don’t dig deep inside and remove something of yourself to give your readers…”
    When I write my very best, I say it feels as if I am removing a splinter. Most folks think I’m crazy but I know you “get” that.

    Mary Karr is one of my favorite writers in terms of being real, poetic, honest, passionate… I think she is fabulous.
    And you Kim, always lay it on the line. You are so passionate, honest, fierce, and you do- bleed on paper.
    Love you. Miss you. Sorry I am a little MIA. LOTS going on but all is for ultimate good!

    xxoo S

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Susie,
      It takes one to know one, you fierce woman!! Xxxx

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 19, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Kim, I love you. It is this fire with which you write that freaks me out. The book/poem that freaks me out? My Mom’s diary. Always makes me laugh and cry. Poem? Abou Ben Adhem. I read it for the first time in grade 5 and it has somehow grown with me and will always remain a favorite. It inspires me in many ways. May I show it to you here?

    Abou Ben Adhem
    by James Henry Leigh Hunt

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the Presence in the room he said
    “What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered “The names of those who love the Lord.”
    “And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still, and said “I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
    And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

    Hugs! Love you more than peacocks dancing in the rain!
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      ***And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.***

      Oooooo, I was waiting for that!

      LOVE it!

      And I love you more than 7 tabbies sunbathing on hot cement in summer!

      Xxxx

  • Reply
    Alison
    January 19, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I don’t really see myself as a writer, in that I don’t think I’m awesome.
    I’m okay-ish. I can string a sentence together coherently. Sometimes, I can even make someone cry.
    But there is a lot inside me that I can’t write out. Yet. I write it in my head, and I let it stay there. I need to confront those stories, but I just can’t yet.

    I’m reading “One Last Thing Before I Go” by Jonathan Tropper, and this sentence kicked me in the gut, it actually hurt to read (and I reread it many times):

    “Because tomorrow is today, and today is yesterday, and yesterday beat the shit out of you and brought you to your knees.”
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 23, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      News Flash: )))) You. ARE. Awesome.

      in many ways, Alison Lee. xxxx

      LOVE love love the sentence!

  • Reply
    Beth Teliho
    January 19, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Again you’ve written something that inspires me. That I want to print and put next to my computer. How do you do that? I love you for it, I know that.
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      And I love you for loving it))!! Xxxxx

  • Reply
    Chris Carter
    January 19, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    YES!! I have a hard time reading some peoples articles… when I don’t feel anything- just words. No message or tug on my heart. It’s the writers that grab me and make me think… the ones that share something so profound that I want to read more, know more and question more. The ones who have something to say that I don’t already know. The ones who have a story that is unique and real and touches a part of my heart that awakens a new light or new love or new compassion…

    You do that. When I find writers that do that? I want to read it all- follow them and take in every part of what they share. There is a big difference- I see it and I am wrapped up in it.

    Oh, how I pray my writing speaks like this. Oh, how I pray.
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Dear, Chris,

      It Does! Xxxxx

  • Reply
    Goodness and Grit
    January 19, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Writing Down the Bones is on my nightstand, and has been for over a year.
    Scary!
    I flip through it occasionally. Usually because I want to get started bleeding, but I’m too chicken shit.
    Someday I will slit my fingertips and let the blood flow.

    Perhaps today is the day to make my mess!

    You inspire!

    Klem,
    Kimberly
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Kimberly,
      you must read Writing Down The Bones! you. Will. Love.

      Xxxx KISS for you.
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    nan @ lbddiaries
    January 20, 2014 at 1:05 am

    “God does not have problems. Only plans,” Corrie ten Boom stated when a clerical error allowed her to be released from a Nazi concentration camp one week before all women prisoners her age were executed.

    Years ago when I read the autobiography of Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place, I was horrified, amazed, shocked, stunned, inspired, and cried, laughed, cheered, and ultimately grew up. This was a woman who faced horrible things in her life, the horror of a concentration came, losing most of her family, and yet, yet she remained true to her faith, lived a life uplifted, at peace, full of joy, wisdom, and never wallowed in self-pity. Reading her story helped me put my entire messed up life into perspective and move on.

    This post is EXCELLENT and so true – and my story will be me, filleted on paper.
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  • Reply
    Choc Chip Uru
    January 20, 2014 at 2:09 am

    We can all pretend we are amazing writers, but I agree with you – not everyone’s writing is WRITING (though yours definitely is :D)
    Make them feel alive is the way to go 🙂

    Cheers
    CCU
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Choc.
      when was the last time I told you that you are Fabulous?!! Xx
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  • Reply
    Mandy - The Complete Book
    January 20, 2014 at 5:36 am

    I agree darling Kim, not everybody can write.How I would love for you to come and visit for a couple of months to be my writer, my voice, to put my heart on paper.
    Have a beautiful love filled awesome week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Mandy,
      no need for me to show you how to write, dear, as long as it comes from the slices of your soul!

      Your voice is your OWN))!!

      Xxx Love to you in S. Africa!
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Valentine Logar
    January 20, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Anyone can put pen to paper, not everyone can put heart and soul, not everyone is that brave. I find I must always break up my heart and soul with my pragmatic mind it is the only survival technique i have.

    Heart..soul..something that doesn’t kill me…heart…soul…something that doesn’t kill me.

    You remind me though, none of it will kill me.

    I love you.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      I love you, Val.

      “Something that doesn’t kill me.”

      fortunately, the words SAVED me! Xxxx
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  • Reply
    Alison at Diamond-Cut Life
    January 20, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Kim, I think you would thrill to “The Chronology Of Water” by Lidia Yuknavitch. Exactly the kind of writing you are talking about.

    It seems to me that many more women writers do this gutsy, in-the-body, from-the-heart writing than men writers. With plenty of individual exceptions, men writers tend to stay up in their heads more.

    And because we have a male-dominated culture, our culture tends to be up-in-the-head, and not very compassionate or humane.

    If our culture were more informed by feminine compassion and from-the-heart-ness, I think it would be quite rare for men to murder their wives of 25 years. I believe things would play out quite differently from the beginning.
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  • Reply
    Marie
    January 20, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Only raw writting is real writting. We need to put everything on the table, show our scars, dreams, the blood in our veins, our naked souls.
    Your writting Kim does this. It moves me to tears, it pushes me forward every single time.
    Marie recently posted..Work in progressMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      Scars.
      Blood.
      Soul.
      Veins.
      Naked.

      LOVE!! Xxxx

  • Reply
    Brenda
    January 20, 2014 at 10:06 am

    You nailed it,Kim. Writing is flat on the page if the writer isn’t real. I’ve read a lot of books in my lifetime, some I remember always because I LOVED the characters. Did the story move me to tears, not always, but did I love it anyway? Yes! There are several books I know I’ve read as I see them lining the bookcases around my house, but I don’t remember them as clearly. I know I have to share a story with you but at the moment I can’t think of one that stands out above all the others. When I do, I will come back and post. I do love The Long Goodbye. Mostly because it’s beautifully written. It’s not necessarily a dame’s story, but writing gets me every time.
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Brenda,
      I agree. Without authenticity, the words are “FLAT” or as Plath says, “Like flat paper cut outs.”

      Love! Xx
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  • Reply
    countingducks
    January 20, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I love this because the energy and passion pours off the page, and without passion, you may be able to write but it would make a very poor read. You are passion.
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  • Reply
    Jann
    January 20, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Thank you Kim for this post. Natalie Goldberg is an amazing teacher–I was lucky enough to be in one of her workshops. (Love her “go for the jugular” quote.) I’m on a DH Lawrence kick these days–especially his “travel” books about Italy and Mexico. What gorgeous command of the English language, and he’s funny, too!
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Jann,
      you must write about this workshop. Do you have photos?

      Natalie is Utterly COOL)))!!

      Love to you, sweets. Xxxc
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debi
    January 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you for the writing inspiration! Gosh, so many stories have kicked my ass, but off the top of my head are Memoirs of a Geisha for the so real voice, The Awakening by Kate Chopin for the desire that burned a hole in my heart, Running with Scissors for the comfort in reading that my family wasn’t the only fucked up family around, and . . . (Don’t judge . .. Fifty Shades of Grey solely for the reason that I never even knew what a butt plug was until I read that! Eeeew. ha ha!) xo
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  • Reply
    Charlene Ross
    January 20, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    You are so right, Kim. I often feel like I hold back in my writing to protect people I love, but when I really let go, that’s when I know my writing is at its best. I love how you never hold back my friend. One of the many reasons your writing is so very beautiful!

    xoxo
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 24, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Charlene,
      yeah, I get it about not hurting people…

      but I think of what Annie Lamott says: “I write as if everybody is already dead!”

      Love that.

      Luv U.
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 20, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Three Books That’ve Stayed With Me Because The Heart & Writing Is Awesome:

    ‘Little Miss Strange’ by Joanna Rose

    ‘Last Standing Woman’ by Winona LaDuke

    ‘Goodness’ by Martha Roth

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 20, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Two Books That’ve Stayed With Me Because The Heart & Writing Is Awesome:

    ‘Little Miss Strange’ by Joanna Rose

    ‘Goodness’ by Martha Roth

  • Reply
    solidgoldcreativity
    January 20, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Wow! I love when you take things up a notch, Kim. I imagine Bette Davis in that movie saying “Tighten your seatbelts. We’re in for a bumpy ride.” 🙂

    Something changed for me when it came to writing and literature about five years ago. I suddenly lost the love I’d had for fine literature. Can’t explain it. Now I enjoy only small doses. Another thing about the shift: before, I was very sure about my tastes, now, I’m often surprised what moves me. I can’t predict it or know in advance.

    Love this line esp, “Everything goes deeper than what we first imagined” and you being wrapped in your auntie’s Tabu coat. xx
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  • Reply
    ladyfi
    January 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Yes – you have to bleed on the page with all your heart! Lovely piece of writing.
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  • Reply
    Debbie
    January 21, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Once again, Kim, you’ve cut to the chase, and we’re all the richer for it!

    Perhaps that’s the difficult thing about writing, you know. Putting ourselves out there for all the world to see. I suppose it takes a special kind of bravery to do that.

    You do it well, my dear — you totally ROCK!!

    ((( Hugs )))
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Debbie,
      It’s not about being “brave,” it’s about staying alive.

      You Rock 2 !! Xxx
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  • Reply
    Jodee
    January 21, 2014 at 10:17 am

    You become what you want to become, really want. Then, when you can do what you like doing the best and most, you can be happy. Isn’t it.
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  • Reply
    Pam Hogeweide
    January 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

    perfect day for me to read this post as i am on a short layoff and am about to hole up in my writing cave and bleed out some more Food Lady stories from the hospital and what those stories mean to Me and yes, the hardest yet best part of it all is going to the dangerous offlimit spaces in my heart and soul and daring to write it anyway.

    Loved what you said:

    “Hoarding the information for yourself is stupid like hiding a candle in the corner of a dim room.”

    I am dedicated to being a generous storyteller and a fearless writer. Not reckless and embarrass others, but willing to Tell On Myself and let readers Feel My fuckedupness and wonderness at this thing called Life and the experiences I had working at the hospital as a waitress for the sick and dying.

    You Are My Rockstar Flaming Red Lipstick Writing Muse Today.

    (fist bump!)

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 8:56 am

      And you are my rockin’ tattooed lady!! Xx

  • Reply
    Pam Hogeweide
    January 21, 2014 at 11:21 am

    REcent raw read that stayed with me : WILD by Cheryl Strayed. So Good!

  • Reply
    Ms. CrankyPants
    January 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    The poem below: read it in high school and never forgot it:

    HOW many times do I love thee, dear?
    Tell me how many thoughts there be
    In the atmosphere
    Of a new-fall’n year,
    Whose white and sable hours appear
    The latest flake of Eternity:
    So many times do I love thee, dear.

    How many times do I love again?
    Tell me how many beads there are
    In a silver chain
    Of evening rain,
    Unravell’d from the tumbling main,
    And threading the eye of a yellow star:
    So many times do I love again.

    “Song”
    Thomas Lovell Beddoes
    Ms. CrankyPants recently posted..Why I Can’t Wear Shorts AnymoreMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Love this, Cranky! xx

  • Reply
    Lady Jennie
    January 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    The only writing I feel truly passionate about is the stuff that makes my heart beat quicker – both my own and other people’s writing.
    Lady Jennie recently posted..How to Cook With HerbsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bella
    January 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    This post made me ponder, my friend! Everything you write, every word, every sentence, digs deep. You practice what you preach, my sister! And I couldn’t agree with you more. Writing without passion is like a lasagna without seasoning. Bland. Forgettable. Barely digestible. In contrast, writing that shares the life of the writer, his or her persona, his or her alter egos, thoughts, ideas, dreams, that is truly good writing. Me, I’m impressed with a writer who inspires me, who challenges me, who makes me laugh, or dream, or one who takes me to faraway places. I quickly transform into him or her. His or her pain is mine. His or her joys are mine. Sigh. Thank you for this wonderful post, Kim. Once again you have prompted us to look inside. Today I feel like I’ve defined what true writing is to me. Love you, lady! 🙂

  • Reply
    ed p
    January 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    i love how you raise the bar for good writing. today, anyone chimp with a keyboard believes he or she is a writer. ha! i can’t define good writing but i know it when i see it, and i like the way you see it, born of the blood we spill and the truths we reveal from the inside that only surface with a bit of pain and redness. i think that’s when it’s possible to fine some degree of freedom in the words we write.
    ed p recently posted..the nightMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      eddie,
      you get it.
      you write it.
      writing is liberating and prayer. Xx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever
    January 21, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Your writing kicks my ass and opens me up and I find a deep well of longing, longing to save and heal and know, know more than I can ever imagine or guess. That internity is that expanded, and in our vulnerability we are truly not ever vulnerable. In everything, th opposite not only exists but is defined. I love you my Goddess Sister! xoxo
    Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever recently posted..Want To See A Therapist? Demystifying Therapy and TherapistsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 8:57 am

      And I Love you back, Ms. Guru. xxx

  • Reply
    Beverly Diehl
    January 21, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears on the reader.” If you write from a safe distance, without passion, without love and fear and anguish, it might be technically perfect, but will move very few people.

    I think of it like figure skating. Technical excellence and flawless execution are wonderful, but the gold usually goes to those who have that spark of joy and delight – as it should. Yes, study the craft – nobody can fall in love with your prose if it’s hidden behind a wall of typos, or badly structured sentences, but if your passion doesn’t shine through… meh.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..9 Ways to Find Your Next Favorite Book #amreadingMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 8:58 am

      Excellent perspective, Beverly. Xxx

  • Reply
    Tina @ Girl with a New Life
    January 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

    One of my mentors says that really powerfully writing is always going to be divisive–some people will hate it and some people will love it.

    If everyone can tolerate it, it’s just elevator music.
    Tina @ Girl with a New Life recently posted..Poetic Inspiration: If by Rudyard KiplingMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 8:58 am

      LOVE.
      As long as the writing brings EMOTION)) Xxx

  • Reply
    Noeleen
    January 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Wonderful post! Love it! Absolutely right up my alley. HERE HERE 🙂
    Noeleen recently posted..Author pulls book from sale – no faith in e-book publisherMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Noleen,
      I love that you love. Xx

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    January 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I am crying because a. I am on my period and we are out of ice cream and b. this? this is what it means to write.
    I had no idea that I could write until I started bleeding my pain onto the pages of a journal. I wanted to tell the world that postpartum depression fucking sucks and this is just how much. I wanted for people who judge us moms with this illness to understand that I, we, work so hard and that we love our children fiercely.
    I do not read blogs that are fake. That showcase a perfect home and kids because it’s bullshit. Your story can be filled with pain or joy or funny as long as it is real. I want a writer to take me on their roller coaster life. Think of how many people we touch when we write from the pits of our hearts in an unfiltered way.
    I love you so much Kim.
    Kimberly recently posted..You’re Nice But I Hate YouMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 8:59 am

      HAAahhh.
      I love your sassy, funny, amazing Heart!!!!!!!!!!! XXXXXXX

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    You are SO right! I need to dig deeper! My favorite book ever was The Book Thief. A rare book that made me sob.
    Liz recently posted..Candied Bacon #AppetizerWeek #GiveawayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Liz,
      I do believe I have THE BOOK THIEF on my Kindle! Yeaa. Xx

  • Reply
    Ellen M. Gregg
    January 24, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I liken my self-exposure to the draping used in massage. The entire body isn’t ever exposed; just the parts being worked on at the time. That said, this week has been riddled with nudges to stand naked and be myself. I’m taking it a step further. (More on that later.)

    “Remembrance” by Jude Deveraux left me bawling for days afterward, because I recognized my soul in it, but it was too soon, and I was still raw from breaking up with my fiance.

    Right now, “Intuitive Eating,” which is being used as a textbook for the current phase of my Holistic Nutrition schooling, has led to multiple “aha” moments and blubbering tears.

    I love you. 🙂
    Ellen M. Gregg recently posted..Remember to ForgetMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Ellen,
      I LOVE your symbolism w/ the massage. YES.

      you know what? I think I watched REMEMBERANCE last night.

      Is it about a man and woman in the concentration camp?

      AMAZING!!!!!!!!

      xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Reply
    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!
    January 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Hi human, Kim,

    Yes indeed, you’ve been anxiously waiting for my comment. Here I go.

    Write from the heart. Make your writing intimate. Write in such a way that your reader really feels like you’re ‘talking’ directly to them. Make your reader care about the story. Most importantly, grab and hold onto the reader’s attention from the very first sentence. Never give up and pursue your dream. Do your best to make your dream a reality.

    And my human and I believe that one should never write to an audience, but to the one person reading a blog.

    Wise, thoughtful words, my dear human friend, Kim.

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! xx
    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! recently posted..Howdy Do You Wipe That?My Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      You are a dog w/ much wisdom 🙂 Xx WOOF.

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    January 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I used to roll my eyes whenever my family did something silly but now I love it because it makes for great material! 😛 and re your question on my blog about Dexter, yes, it felt to me like the writers had changed in the last couple of seasons. I didn’t love it as much 🙁 xxx

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Lorraine,
      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks this about our Dex.

      His character has changed too drastically and I don’t like that he is not following his code!

      Love to you, Sweets. xx

  • Reply
    TheKitchenLioness
    January 25, 2014 at 4:16 am

    Kim, sorry that I was amiss for a while…but now I am back (slowly) and I could not wait to visit your blog for some much needed inspiration. Love this post – when I was younger I always wanted to become a writer, always, books were the most important thing in my life. Back then, I read books mostly in German though (not anymore) and would never have been able to settle on one or two favorite ones. But while I was away the last couple of weeks, I took the time and re-read a charming little book by Nigel slater (“Toast”) again, it made me smile and feel good and that is exactly what I needed the last couple of weeks – books are still some of the most important things in my life.
    Take care and thank you for a wonderful post, dear friend!
    TheKitchenLioness recently posted..Jan Hagel Cookies – Jan Hagel KekseMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      I am glad you are well and BACK))))!!!

      I shall Google TOAST immediately. xxx LOVE.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Wokfe
    January 26, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Dear Kim

    Thank you. Have you read Their Eyes WereWatching God by Zora Neale Hurston? What a magical, beautiful story.
    Jennifer Wokfe recently posted..Maybe It’s Just Part of Being A MomMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      I read Their Eyes Are Watching God years ago…

      but I must read it again for the pure pleasure, Jennifer. Xx

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    January 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    You are my inspiration, Kim. I really appreciate your wisdom!
    Angie
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Rutabaga Radicchio Salad with Silken Tofu DressingMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      And I appreciate and Love your artistry in the kitchen, Angie. Xx

  • Reply
    Manal The Go Go Girl
    January 26, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    What an inspirational post! It just confirms my thoughts since I started my blogging journey in October. I find myself reading and feeling people’s stories and emotions. The power of writing is amazing to the spiritual wellbeing and I’m loving it.
    First time visitor on your blog and plan to read more 🙂
    My favorite and all time books: The Prophet by Gibran Khalil- Ask not what your Country can do for you but ask what you can do for your Country (That’s where the quote came from).
    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho…
    Manal The Go Go Girl recently posted..Dear Cousin Moe, WHY?My Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 27, 2014 at 8:26 am

      Interesting.
      Most people assume that JFK said that!
      I am checking out your blog now!
      thanks for visiting me….Xxx

  • Reply
    Ilene
    January 27, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Kim, this is the best writing lesson EVER. Years ago, in a writing group, a published author said to all of us, “I don’t care how many MFA’s you have. If you can’t get blood coursing through your subject matter’s veins, you’ve lost your readers.” I think that’s exactly what you’re talking about here as well.
    Ilene recently posted..You Gotta Be: Ask Away Friday with Tamara Camera BlogMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      January 27, 2014 at 8:27 am

      ****The blood coursing through your subject matter’s veins***

      I LOVE that sentence!

      Xxx

  • Reply
    Rita @ The Crafty Expat
    January 28, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Dear Kim, as always I loved this post! So true, I was actually saying something like this to myself today while I was reading the last pages of, I think, the best book I have ever read in my life… The Shadow of The Wind it’s called and the author writes with no shame. He doesn’t think: “Oh, I can’t write this or that..”; well maybe he does but he writes it anyway! I was saying to myself that I have to write with my guts…
    My parents are now back to Canada and I’m just getting back into the blogging world today. I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year 2014 filled with everything you want and love. All the best to you! I’m so glad I have found your amazing and empowering blog! And, looking forward to follow your blog this year!
    Rita @ The Crafty Expat recently posted..Books, Books, Books – Books read in 2013My Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 28, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Rita,
      you are fabulous. Glad you’re back to blogging, writing, connecting. Xxx

      I’ll check out that book! Xx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Slices Of SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Wild Child Mama
    January 29, 2014 at 6:02 am

    “Let the bones you have crushed rejoice” Psalm 51 which I first understood when I read Mary Karr’s Lit, a memoir I drank like sweet and bitter lemon aid. He crushed my pain. He crushed my hardened exterior, my walls, the skeleton I jailed inside. (Can I use jailed that way? I just did!). I am learning to rejoice.

    Praise God for your words and inspiration and courage to tell the truth! You always make me feel like a lion that wants to raor!

  • Reply
    Sammie
    January 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

    ahh! This totally reminds me of… Ratatouille. Gustov said, “Anyone can cook”.

    Anyone can definitely write! Practice makes perfect!
    Sammie recently posted..Super Crumbly Pineapple Tarts – Nastar CookiesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com
    January 29, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Kim! Great post…and thank you for explaining clearly the difference between mere writing and WRITING. I happen to agree that anyone with a computer can write…just like anyone with paint can paint. But there is something that certainly distinguishes a Picasso from a first grader and I happen to think that most of it is the passion you talk about. If we writers aren’t passionate and determined and willing to keep writing no matter what, then that will be pretty obvious to everyone (and hopefully ourselves!)

    And the writer that offers something amazing is Mary Oliver. Her poems always move me.

    She says:
    When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
    I was a bride married to amazement.
    I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

    When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
    if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
    I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
    or full of argument.

    I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com recently posted..10 Commandments For A SMART & Simple LifeMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      January 30, 2014 at 5:48 am

      OOOO, Mary Oliver.

      I feel the words inside my bones. xxx Thanks for visiting, Kathy.
      My Inner Chick recently posted..Broken WingsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Dawn
    February 2, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Oh my. The comments here read like a book list of things I need to read. Right now. I will take notes. You are one of my favorite WRITERS…because you make me hurt and cry and laugh. Sometimes all at the same time.

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