We write and we write and we write and we write

A Year in Ink, Vol. 10, the annual anthology published by San Diego Writers, Ink has just been released and it’s a fine one. This is the tenth anthology SDWI has published and I was honored to be invited to be editor for this edition. In the early years of the anthology, when I was Executive Director of Writers, Ink, I served as managing editor alongside the guest editors of volumes I, II and III. And way back when… I worked with the editors of several anthologies for The Writing Center, the nonprofit literary organization that preceded San Diego Writers, Ink. But this is the first time I got to be Editor—both a thrill and a challenge.


In writing the Introduction to the collection, I wanted to acknowledge all the ways we writers make our art. This is what I wrote:

We go to our desk or table or we find a tuckaway in a corner or a make-do set-up in the garage or attic or basement or under the stairs or out back in the shed. We pile pillows behind us in bed or slouch on the couch; we load our laptops or iPads, or notebooks or journals, and we walk, we bike, we drive, we trolley to the café, the library, the bench in the park, the spot on the beach, the hideaway in the hills. Before dawn, before bed, after hours, after work, after all. We play music or we insist on silence. We go it alone or we do it together. We join a class or a workshop, a group or a gaggle. We conference, we symposium, we retreat. The kids are at school. The baby’s sleeping. The cat. The dog. The chocolate. The coffee. Does anyone smoke anymore? On assignment, by inspiration, sudden flash or deliberate urge. First draft, third draft, who’s counting draft. We write. We write and we write and we write. And out of that—our stories, our poems, our essays, novels and memoirs: This Anthology.

How do you go about your writing? I think I have gone all the places and done all the ways mentioned in the piece, except my bicycle was stolen years ago and I never get up before dawn. Oh, and I don’t have a dog. Yet.

The cover art for A Year in Ink, Vol. 10, is from a photograph by Patrick McMahon, titled “Ascendence.” At the release party for the anthology, I was presented with a print of that photograph. It now hangs over the desk just inside my door at home. It’s the first thing I see when I enter my home and the last thing I see before I close the door. It’s beautiful and alive and will ever be a reminder of the anthology and the organization I care so deeply about.

Copies of A Year in Ink, Vol 10 are available from San Diego Writers, Ink.

18 thoughts on “We write and we write and we write and we write

    • Hey Jill, SDWI’s longevity is due, in large part, to you and your inspiration, support and hard work. All of us owe a great deal to you for helping to bring that vision to real, solid and persistent life. xoox

  1. Laptop in the chair, notes to self on the phone, pen and paper at a desk, on the porch or in the car.
    I was driving back to Arizona from a trip east. Turning from a two lane country road onto another, the rain and mist along the river made me swap with my partner for the passenger seat and, grabbing notebook from backpack, I managed to get the basics of a song down in spite of winding roads and the resulting motion sickness. LOL!
    When you gotta, you gotta.

    • Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for this ode to your writing practice. I’m a motion-sickness-in-the-car woman, too and salute you for carrying on in spite of. Love it!

  2. Wonderful piece Judy.
    I read these words by Gail Sher a few years ago and thought they were inspiring as well….

    ” If you take on writing as your practice, to recognize that writing is your practice, you need to have the attitude ‘ write or die. ‘ Not because you ‘ should,’ but because if writing is your practice, if you don’t write, you will feel something terribly important is missing from your life – and nothing, including prayer, meditation, exercise, money or love will make up for it.”

    Best Wishes

    • Hello Michael,
      Thank you so much for reminding me of Gail Sher. For many years I used her book, “One Continuous Mistake,” as my morning meditation book to enter into my writing. I love that book, and her second as well (“The Intuitive Writer”). Because of your note, I’ll pulled it down from my shelf and will put it by my morning writing table to begin the day tomorrow. Thank you.

  3. Dear Judy,
    Love your “Ascendence” photograph. I’m sure you did a great job at editing the current volume. How can I get a copy? I enjoyed your description of the various
    places writers go to write. I suppose you can include the lavatory although it’s not quite as “romantic” as the others.

    • Thank you, Arlene, for writing. By mentioning the lavatory as a place writers go to write are you revealing a secret? (ha ha)
      You can get a copy of the Anthology from San Diego Writers, Ink. Here’s a link to their site. I’m not sure what the procedure is, but writing them would be the place to start. http://www.sandiegowriters.org/
      Thanks again,

      • Dear Judy,
        I just ordered “A Year in Ink Vol.4.”
        It should arrive on June 28.
        I’m looking forward to reading it.
        Arlene Kosakoff

      • Hi Arlene,
        I hope you enjoy the Anthology. May I ask why you chose Vol. 4? The one I featured is Vol. 10. Just wondering. Thanks, Judy

      • Judy,
        I was trying to get the one you edited, but I guess I ordered the wrong one…Oh, well, I’m looking forward to reading Vol. 4. I will try and get a copy of Vol. 10 also.

      • They’d probably exchange Vol 4 for Vol. 10 if you want to go to the trouble of mailing it back. Or just enjoy both. I wasn’t involved in #4, but I know there’s some good writing in it.

    • Thank you so much, Barb and thank you for all your beautiful writing, too. I am so glad we get to work together in our Tuesday group.

  4. A friend got my copy of Ink..I was pleased with it ..great job and thanks for selecting my narrative poem about my best friend of over 50 years..a lifelong friend is a miracle in itself..take care

    • Una, so nice to get your comment. Thanks for sending your poem to SDWI so we could include it in the 10th annual Anthology. You were in the first, and have been in so many since. I’m sure as long as you continue to submit your beautiful poems, they’ll find a home in A Year in Ink, no matter which year. “Catherine’s Blouse” is so lovely and touching. I was delighted and honored to include it. By the way, I believe SDWI is sending out contributor’s copies now. You should receive your own in a short while. Much love,xoox

  5. Since my writing slump took its sweet time I was driven to other forms of creative release. The secondhand store loves me now. Green and raspberry is my theme and so I finished redoing the living room and started on the bedroom. The little white table I bought for $15 fits into the corner beside the window. The locust trees are just outside. I even bought a fake orchid in a square glass vase filled with river rocks and “water” to go on a night stand.

    By then I’d haunted the store for weeks and it was time to get NoteBook out of laze-tirement. I ask for blessing upon my sacred space and then sign the silence with the strike of a match to the candle. Since I have to keep my mouth shut I make sure I get the three pages done.

    Tomorrow is café writing when the place opens.

    And so on.

    • Hi Linda,
      Sometimes we’re empty and we gotta refill. Sounds like you do your refilling at the second hand store. Sounds fun!

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