James Kiesewetter writing on the beach

Why do I love writing? The blog that started about something else.

What do I write about? I never know what to write about. It's just constant. I put this bi-weekly blog on myself in part to force myself to write consistently. I love the person I am when I'm writing. Not literally in the moment of putting words on the page, I love the person I am in life when I'm writing consistently (although occasionally stumbling upon a new connection in my mind is incredibly rewarding).  It's more about the way I walk around looking at the world, as I'm living when I'm writing consistently that I really love. I see things that I'm normally looking at but don't SEE.

I also walk around and a few thoughts back is what I just wrote or what I'm thinking about writing and what I want to write about next. Writing is a place where I essentially get to make an excuse to put time towards a thought or a feeling that I wouldn't normally put time towards or I would just forget. I started a note on my phone that is "Thinking Time" and "Next Blogs". All to capture the thoughts I have in a day to look back on later and write and think about.

When I was in the most intense period of writing Smile Your Last Breath Away; I'd sit down every day and write. I'd spend time perusing the halls of my mind trying to find words to say and trying to figure out how to assign words to the things I was feeling or had felt in my life. I'd wander, trying to find the most important things to talk about and how they related to each other. I wrote the following piece in the book that I think explains a little how I view the process:

"Las asked unobtrusively, a compassionate scent hanging from his voice, nursing Jake out of hiding. His words were a gentle, patient tap on the doors of Jake's mind: Answer as you wish; take as long as you need. They created a place for him [Jake] to speak and reason. Sometimes, the best learning occurred when putting words to the connections in the mind. Tracing the invisible threads, like a spider's web, from one idea to another, shining light to see the lines hiding from when the spinnerets of his mind made them, uncovering a new path through the nebulous quest of personal reason."

The discourse in the novel brought out the best and worst parts of me and I had to answer to all of it. I confronted things that I had knowingly and unknowingly avoided for my entire life, but that's beside the point. The point was this metaphor of stumbling through a seemingly infinitely vast jungle of personal reason. The trail is the trail you know, the things attached to it you are aware exist in your mind. Maybe it's the things you feel strongly about and why. Maybe it's how a childhood event effects you to this day. And there are some things you don't understand on the trail, but you pass by it and know it's there, it's a common sight -- even if you don't understand it.

In order to write Smile Your Last Breath Away, I had to get off the trail. It felt like I had a flashlight and I was tracing these small lines that started from the trail and led into the darkness (darkness not as symbology for bad but for the unknown), into the places I didn't know about in my head. I imagined the lines being like spider silk, translucent until you hit it with light in the right way and it reflects, then you follow it onward.

While I was in the process of writing the book, I'd read literature and study a variety of different things. Sometimes a new line would be spun and I'd watch it connect two previously, seemingly, disparate feelings, ideas, or topics. And I'd sit back in awe observing it.

It was really insane to me.

I imagined our whole life, all of our thoughts and emotions. All our baggage and beautiful moments. All the classroom instruction, lectures, books, and shows. Every single thing interconnected in our minds and has a place it made and/or continues to make an impact on us. And that web is made up of smaller webs and webs that were connected with more lines than others that the spinnerets of my mind spun throughout my life. Some of the best moments on the writing journey were (and still are) when my flashlight caught a hidden line somewhere connecting something I could've never imagined.

That's one of the many reasons I love to write and there are so many more. I'll have to get to more of them in other posts. Like how while writing a novel I had to assign words to sounds, emotions, facial expressions, smells, etc. that I never noticed before. It made me get back into my life and really live it. Really focus on the things going on. I felt like an active participant in my life instead of being a passive observer, as ironic and dissonant as that sounds after what I just said haha.

Writing makes me better. Even when I write something that seems useless or no one ever reads. Like the 35,000-word self-help preachy attempt at a book I wrote first that I quickly became disgusted by. But I learned a lot about myself and going from no words to some words helped immensely in figuring out what I really wanted to talk about, and how I wanted to deliver it.

Now, theres no possible way I could've planned out the way the book ended up but that's part of the journey. I'd start writing the discourse of the characters in a specific place and would get so involved in the conversation and curious about what Las and Jake would say, ask each other and respond. It was truly fascinating to me. I had heard Patrick Rothfuss talk about something similar as he approached writing the third book of the Kingkiller Chronicles. He said something like he was excited to see what the main character was going to do and I was like WHAT???? You're the author that doesn't make any sense, but I'm here to tell you it happens for sure. Authentic and genuine. It was a beautiful journey.

Well, I started writing this blog post thinking I was going to write about how moving gives us the ability to start rethinking our habits hahaha. Literally, the first line I wrote was "My favorite part about being in a new place is the ability to develop new habits. It's a time we have to"  See how that turned out.... writing has a way of bringing out what matters more in the moment I guess. I started with that sentence then I started just pouring out what was in my brain "What do I write about?..." is what I thought and how I felt, and now you all just read what I ended up writing about. What's the point of lists of things to think, ponder, and write about if this is how it goes? Hahaha. I'm laughing at myself. This is what it's about though and why I love it. Maybe I'll write about habits another time.

Thanks for reading. I'll keep showing up to write, hope y'all keep showing up to read!

'til our last breath,

James Kiesewetter

P.S. I'm wearing the Swell Long Sleeve and Summer Shorts in the photo!
Click here for more information on James’ book Smile Your Last Breath Away
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Why do I love writing? The blog that started about something else.

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