Monday, February 7, 2011

Writing: Pain or Pleasure by Marcia Dutton

Before a friend got me writing and I joined The Bayou Writer’s Group, I was a busy artist trying to find enough time to paint. I now discover that writing has become an addiction, something like email communication. My life is no longer my own and I don’t know where to allot my precious time.

It appears that writing has surpassed my desire to paint. There is so much I want to say and tell young family members of their ancestors, of whom they have little knowledge, but a keen desire to know. Now as the eldest in my extended family, I feel an obligation to tell some of the stories that fascinated me.

Additionally, having lived and traveled around the world, there are experiences I wish to share with them. As I write, I have found such pleasure in remembering incidents long put on a back burner as present day life takes control.

BWG is a joy to belong to. In the usual social everyday life, how often does one get to learn the thoughts and experiences of other people? Believe me, you hear some fascinating stories. And, how often do people ask about you or your experiences? Very rarely. In such a group, you get the opportunity to share as well as learn.

Just the act of writing is beneficial to the mind. Writing is as much a science as an art form, and like so many things, is ever-changing…good exercise for working those old gray cells.

All in all, even if, like me, you are no professional, you can still find writing to be a pleasure.

Award-winning artist Marcia Dutton has published letters to the editor in the American Press and the only English newspaper in Saudi Arabia. She was a newsletter editor in Saudi Arabia and sent numerous letters home to family members about life in the various countries she lived in. Marcia is writing a book of memoirs about her days in the U.S. Navy and her many adventures abroad.


  1. As the oldest member of my family also I have also turned to more writing about family history. What am still trying to decide is if I should make the stories fun to read, but totally accurate. I found if I tell everything in order it can get long and boring. What is your approach?

  2. Enjoyed every word. I do have a request: Please, please do not give up painting. You are too fine an artist to let that gift languish.

  3. I agree with Pat! Keep doing both. Different art forms complement each other; they aren't mutually exclusive. And it's great that you find so much joy in writing. We often forget that writing is a joyful thing to do, and to be able to do. Thanks for your post.

  4. Absoultely keep painting, Marcia. I wish I'd been blessed with that talent, but I also understand the 'frenzy' that takes over when you first start writing. It happened for me three years ago and I was completely obsessed. So many ideas floating around in your head and not enough hours in the day to get them all down...

  5. What a great gift your stories will be to all those young family whippersnappers who will yearn for connection with their aunts, uncles and cousins! I treasure the tidbits of my family history gleaned from just records. (My grandfather was kicked out of church for going square dancing). Storytellers remind us of who we are and where we come from. King David taught us that. Good luck. Your painting inspires. Don't quit.