Writing is like placenta turned inside out. Gory and beautiful all at once.

“Writing is like placenta turned inside out. Gory and beautiful all at once.”

– Dawn Richardson

Discipline motivated by love is beautiful. This bit of truth I learn daily these days; these writing days. I am writing a book. I am aiming to get said book done this month. This means seven pages daily on weekdays which is about five hours of writing each day. It’s challenging. I am reminded of a couple years ago when I watched a friend deliver her baby and afterward the midwife asked if I wanted to see the placenta. I did. I’m obsessed with life and building long-term structures which promote life, OF COURSE I wanted to see the placenta! Anyway, I saw it. I was mesmerized. Sometimes turning something inside out, which is a bit of the way the placenta appeared, rips your own substance toward worship. That moment sure did.

So, I’m writing. I met my seven page quota today. I’m feeling a bit inside-out, having peered back at the year 2006 and held it in my writing hand for wisdom’s sake. Inside-out can be a screamingly thankful state.

I girded my writing courage today by reading some writing quotes. I thought I’d share some favorites. Dare to hold your story, your life story, in your hands again and see it from the inside out. Maybe you need to do some writing too, or some talking  – with another human being who will let you process your thoughts. If so, do it. Let’s make 2012 supercharged with life every single day. And when necessary, let’s write about it.

** You are welcome to add your own writing quotes in the comments too. That’d be grand. **


“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Good writing is like a windowpane.” – George Orwell

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” ~Anaïs Nin

“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”  ~Anaïs Nin

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  ~Toni Morrison

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”  ~William Wordsworth

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”  ~Vladimir Nabakov

“When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.”
~Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)

“The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild, creative delight.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody’s head.”  ~John Updike


8 thoughts on “Writing is like placenta turned inside out. Gory and beautiful all at once.

  1. A captivating title, perhaps gaining effectiveness from it’s assail (but in a gentle, paradoxically pleasant way:) on a few of the physiological senses. Smashing. This is especially timely as I am in the process of co-unfolding a story (in book form) with a fellow writer. The Hemingway quote is one I’ve held close in my thoughts ever since I first heard it when I was in the 6th grade (though the variation I heard was something along the lines of “all you must do is open up a vein and let it bleed”). Thank you, Dawn. Your illumination lends light 🙂
    I have a few thoughts that your post inspired me to review. I’ll enter them below.

    1. A poem I wrote in February of 2004, called “Writer’s Block”:

    Staccato strokes;
    vales of white between.
    The outline of motion
    etched with ebony means.
    Left with no choice,
    the rejection coming slowly,
    it must be high folderol
    that has clogged the remains
    Of my literary artery.


  2. An inadvertent response to the traffic-jam of the vessels I was experiencing came about in August of 2010. This one is called “Into the Mystic”:

    Awe-inspiring One
    In whom I trust.
    In you, I AM
    completely found,
    and complete
    you are in me.
    There is no lack,
    (in true terms)
    but those I add
    (with faulty claims).
    Thus, I’ll adjourn
    from old logic
    and rightly sojourn
    into the mystic.
    Therein lies the prize,
    flooding my heart’s eyes,
    leading me
    into illumination,
    delivering me
    Holy inebriation.
    the Pen
    (and so do I)


  3. oh His goodness, Neel. That 2nd poem is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing it! I am also impressed you remember the Hemingway quote from 6th grade. well done. You are a helpful agent provocateur, in the very sense, to the writing schemes of life. Perhaps you should publish a book of poetry, or at least a book of brief thoughts: essays, poetry, tidbits of reflection. : )


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