One of the books I’m reading about how to write books speaks of the fact that, unlike playing an instrument or painting or dancing, we all have the tools one needs to write – the depth of emotion, the life experience, the imagination. It takes dedication and practice, in that order. THat’s what my recent writing retreat gave me — among many other things — the habit and the need/dedication. I am finally writing my draft – as my writing instructor says, “You can’t edit a blank page.” And so I am filling my pages with a version of the story I want to tell – a very rough version, which is exactly the point. I consider much of what I’m writing placeholders for what will eventually be the words in my book. It’s so very liberating, to give myself permission to write the imperfect first draft. For once I feel I have the ability and drive to finish a draft. I actually look forward to getting home and writing, or to getting out of my home and writing. Writing at home with a dog who would rather I look at him than my computer screen and with papers that need to be put away and with laundry that needs to be done and free weights watching me from the table begging to be curled and appointments to make and Bill’s toupee and calls to return and everything else – this is the challenge. This is one of the challenges.
I’m now at the point where reading a well-constructed novel does not feel like a waste of time, the point where writing anything – this blahg, par exemple — feels like a valuable exercise.
Today, instead of writing in the hours I designated, I watched the fourth-to-last match in the 2014 World Cup. And I’ve no regrets – I wanted Brazil to win but Germany’s sweep was so impressive it bordered on riveting.
…and other phrases I never thought I’d utter…
I need a title for my book.
It’s muggy out there these days.