On writing

These seem true:

  • I want to write what I’m thinking.
  • I want to be unafraid of writing something unorganized, or something that isn’t profound.
  • Writing is part of my process towards and within feminism.  Reading, thinking, writing, and following where the ideas lead are my way of engaging with radical feminist thought in the absence of a radical feminist community IRL.

Some women are great at academic writing, distilling the works of others, building on theory, relating it to current events and their own lives.  This is not what I will be doing; it’s not a strength of mine.  I value these writers, because they have opened the door to radical feminism for me to enter.  I don’t know who might benefit from what I write, or how.  I have some vague notion that my writing about my newly-raised consciousness, my uncertainty, my difficulties and joys, may resonate with others who are who are also new to radical feminism.  Maybe it’ll make them curious, or they’ll feel encouraged.  My hope, of course, is that more women will see the value of radical feminism, build women’s communities, and break out, as possible, of the shackles that the default of patriarchal culture has put on us.

If I inspire anyone, that’s great.  If not, at least I introduced myself to most pro-woman community that I have ever known.

A helpful observation from WitchWind’s On writing and creativity

Abstraction, I believe, is patriarchal. It means dissociation, fragmentation, separation, and it doesn’t make sense to life. The concept of abstraction was invented so men could pretend that what they were saying was more true, universal and objective, so their ideology and political, destructive agenda could be hidden, so experience grounded in reality (and truth) could be discredited and so this erasure could appear legitimate.

In contrast, a life-filled approach to writing:

I tried it the other day, just to write my ideas as I wrote, without thinking about it much, as if I were writing a long comment, just to let the words flow: and I found it very enjoyable. So easy! It was such a relief! I let the ideas appear as they came through, it’s very soothing, relaxing in fact. Being relaxed and trusting in what will come out of the process is very important because this is when the ideas, insights, images, creative spinning come: not when we’re tense, fearful, harshly judging and contorted, crippled, as men want us to be to silence us. To discover that was amazing. And the ideas do come through, it’s a lie that you can’t make yourself understood this way. I didn’t have to contort my brain into pieces to fit every bit of my insights into a structure, a steel built argument, thesis antithesis crap, it was liberating. And this is what I mean by process instead of ends. It’s using writing as a thought process itself, not transcribing past thoughts, or reorganising them so they conform to deadening babble. It’s making thought and action into a single movement. I like it when writing has the same quality as the spiraling discussions I have with other radical feminists, or the thought processes generated through reading radical feminist books, or from reading a story that is women. I would have stopped writing if I hadn’t discovered this really.

I have found this so inspiring.  I think I will back t it when I doubt myself, my writing, my usefulness.  I like thinking that we can spiral together.  Much thanks to WitchWind.



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