BOOKS ....... FREE STORIES ....... TALES OF TAM YS ....... ARCHIVE ....... EDITING ....... SARAH

wild sky writer

Most of my favourite authors have earthy, root-rich, forested voices. I wish to sound like them. I dig up old broken tales of winter hags and tangle-haired women and bone singers. I lay the words infront of me and try to work out how to fit them together with mossy dark conjunctives and beautiful sentences. And then, restless, uncertain, I seek inspiration from the woodlands and meadows and feral magics those authors write about.

But the truth I keep bashing up against, falling apart against, is that I am not an earthy woman. I don't live like one, parent like one, comprehend the world like one. And I don't write like one either.

If I'm being honest, I don't really find comfort in the forest, or sitting amongst wildflowers in long, fragrant grass. I can not abide the sea. What I want is distances.

The idea of the forest.
The silence between said things.
The space between text and understanding.
The faraway hills.

And the wind, the rain, the rivers in the sky, moving through those distances and suggesting stories that do not need to be told to be powerful

I don't mean that I am an edgewitch or that I live or work in the liminal spaces. Absolutely not. Infact, I believe they are sacred spaces in which the wild god dwells, and as soon as we step into them we change them - fill them.

I think its good for writers to understand about the timbre of our voices, but I also believe we need to consider too what we hear, and how we hear it. What kinds of conversations do we have with the natural world, the spirit-filled world? Does the earth drum up stories for us that we eat with wild acorns and medicinal weeds and teas of flower and smoke? Or does the wind drift poetry into our eyes and our hearts?

Never mind if all our favourite people are writing about earth and wonderful old fables that enchant us. Perhaps there are readers out there wishing to read about storms and dreamy horizons and profound night silences and what lies between stars and candlelight. If we know, we can speak it for them in a way earthy people can not.

I suspect it may be harder for sky-spirited writers to settle easily into writing, simply because of the nature of their kindred element. They are always being blown this way and that. They are always left feeling just outside of belonging. Earth writers have the advantage of being grounded. Perhaps that is why most windswept stories are actually poems. We catch their threads on a passing breeze and weave them quickly, instinctively, into words that do not often need composting or pruning. But oh, imagine the book that is a wild storm ...


  1. I love this post about the authentic writer that you are...not the writer one wants to be but the writer, woman, person that one IS. Let's celerate that one!

  2. I love this post, Sarah. I am very much an earthy writer, so it's lovely and enlightening to view the writing craft through the eyes of an artist aligned to a different element. I'm going to be thinking about this all day now....

    Thank you so much.

  3. I've come to your lovely blog via Jo's Art of Wildness. What you've written here is so interesting. I have been gently berating myself for not being interested in the details of what I see when I'm outside, and being slightly bored by so much 'nature writing', and I'm concluding that it's ok not to know the official name of a bird or plant. I feel things instead, the flutter of the breeze, the vibration of a song. These are what are important to me. So now reading your post I can see that maybe I too have been trying to fit into an Earth voice.

  4. I loved reading this article. It made me think. I am an earth writer, but I have a link to the air, the brooding places between trees, and the feel of the wind, so maybe I need to be thinking of this elemental side of myself as well. Thank you for the article.

  5. This is so beautifully written that I read it all over again to savor and then couldn't help myself, I read it a third time.

    The nature of one's writing voice is something I've never thought of quite this way. Nor have I thought how any of us change liminal spaces simply by entering.

    Sarah, I'm sending this to all my writerly friends. Thank you for this.

  6. I'm not a writer, but I appreciate so much this beautiful write dear Sarah. In my heart...a wonderful writer dwells...but she has no pen or paper that will accept it. So there it stays, in her heart.

  7. Beautiful. I was brought here by Terri Windling's rec. So glad to find this bit of inspiration, self realization, and elegance. Best wishes to you.

  8. Beautiful. I was brought here by Terri Windling's rec. So glad to find this bit of inspiration, self realization, and elegance. Best wishes to you.

  9. I love the truth of this, Sarah. <3

  10. I love the idea of connecting one's writing to a specific element...I plan to explore this over the summer. Thanks for your insightful blog!

    1. I wouldn't want to give the impression that it's a deliberate or contrived connection. Rather, for me anyway, it's about acknowleging where my strongest relationships with nature lie, and valuing them rather than thinking it's better to be an "earth mama" or sea-washed author because others inspire me with how well they do that. I also hesitate to suggest specificity. Years ago, I wrote about being aligned with the water element, and how that may look really different for different people. For example, I love the rain, and tears, and the sound of secret water. But I have no real connection with the ocean or lakes or rivers.

  11. Thank you everyone who has so kindly left a comment, and to those who have generously shared the post link. I really appreciate it. Funny how so often the posts we write as a way of talking to ourselves can have the most impact on other people.

  12. Beautiful. I'm sure there are "readers out there wishing to read about storms and dreamy horizons and profound night silences and what lies between stars and candlelight". I am one of them :)

  13. beautifully expressed
    yesterday i was building garden boxes and had my fingers in the roots and earth
    i thought of you, they way you weave your words
    the way they touch my spirit
    thank you

  14. Beautiful... Still beautiful.... Always beautiful....

    And I find you again. -smile- Under a different name now.

    I seem to need to change (blogging) names. Thank you, for seeming to need this, as well.

    Again, your words, your blog... So beautiful... So ethereal... -happy sigh-

    Gentle hugs,
    Tessa (this time)
    "Here there be musing" blog on blogspot... (this time)

  15. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post and your image and words sing - so needed to read this one right now.


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