albionidaho: (Default)
Today is brought to you by Lemongrass Green tea and  Jarvis "Smash the System" Cocker.

I have a confession to make.

Last night, after the kids were sung to and read to and hugged and kissed and in bed, I was going to write. And I didn't write. I ended up reading the entire back blog entries of a friend of mine because it's a fascinating, enjoyable, thoughtful, entertaining blog. I totally ate the crayons.

But you know, last night, the crayons were really good. Not waxy and unfulfilling at all.

However, I also stayed up way past my bedtime because of eating said  crayons, and now I'm exhausted this morning.  I am writing this morning, because we must press through and go on, though my typing speed and my clarity of thought and use of language has been moderately impaired. At least it seems that way.

At Clarion West, I believe it was Mary Rosenblum who pointed out that, as a general rule, when a writer evaluates the work they wrote on a day they didn't feel good and didn't feel like writing and the days they felt like they were on fire that they really wouldn't be able to tell the difference. (This, of course, isn't taking certain factors into consideration -- I know there are circumstances that can strongly affect one's ability to write well, e.g., certain medications and illnesses.) I assume this is one of those days for me -- tired, slow writing, but I'll not be able to differentiate what I produce today from what I produce on a really good day during this time period.
albionidaho: (Default)
Today is brought to you by lemongrass tea and Bela Bartok.

This year's NaNo novel will be completed tomorrow. I've done a lot of writing this week. *ahem*

As [livejournal.com profile] chris_reynaga has noted, one of the biggest lessons we were taught at Clarion West was the importance of simply sitting down in one's seat and writing regularly.  Just do it, as Nike was so fond of saying.  

It became evident that so much of writing was about consistent, steady practice.  Mary Rosenblum encouraged me to make up a story on a regular basis, maybe even every morning, from an article in the newspaper or a magazine.  It wasn't necessary to write it down, but it was ideal to figure out the main characters and the external and internal plot.  (She focused on the external plot with me as that was where I was lacking.) I was amazed at how skilled she was at simply sitting down with an idea and forming a whole story around it.  She said it was because she'd done it over and over and over again, year after year. 

This is a lesson I try to teach Avadore.  People don't just run marathons, people don't just sit down one day and read Moby Dick at four-years-old. Though talent is lovely, in the end so much of what we do is about practice.  Perseverance. 

Writing is a skill: it's learned, it's developed, it's honed, it's maintained.  And it's one of those skills that people continue to learn, develop, hone, and maintain.  Everyday.

This is why I encourage people to do NaNoWriMo.  It gets one in the daily writing groove for one month to the point that it can, ideally, become habit.
***

I think about writing a lot -- while singing with the kids as we drive to the grocery store, while I shower, while I cook. 

I live about a quarter mile from the country and a half mile from the city.  The Idaho version of a city, that is.  Today the kids and I drove in the opposite direction as everyone else and went to the country.  Avadore took pictures of some absolutely gorgeous horses. We talked about the changing season, how the leaves have all fallen and everything looks dead, but how there's a beauty in the color of the trees and bushes and sagebrush, how there's a beauty in the muted light.  We talked about how the farm animals were snuggled together for warmth, why the quality of the sunlight had changed, how the days were getting shorter and shorter.  We talked about how people have lots of celebrations during this time and how it helps people make it through the dark, winter months.  We came home and read National Geographic.  The kids and I love National Geographic.  We're total NG whores at my house.  We reread the China issue from May, and talked about China and how beautiful it is there, and how different, and why that's so. 

And all this time the back of my head was musing over lessons learned this summer in Seattle.

This is what it's like to be a girl -- we can maintain several hamsters in our heads at once.


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