Monday, March 30, 2009

Practice makes Novelist?

When I'm not writing, I'm reading about writing. As of this very moment, my copy of Goldbereg's Writing Down the Bones sits lazily across my lap- sharing the space with my computer. So far, the main theme is to shut out the world and find the writer within. I need to do better at that. I am loving this book. It's very zen. The emphasis the author has put on one concept in particular has struck me, and that is the importance of practice via freewriting. It has been so long since I sat and practiced freewriting. I constantly carry hundreds of editors on my shoulders as I write. Everyone from my mother to my potential reader sits, metaphorically perched- adding their imput to all I do. Goldberg's theory is that it is your voice as a writer that makes a fine novel and that voice will only come through practice and most often freewriting. Maybe it's time to ask the critics on my shoulder to leave and return to the creative freewriting I did as a younger woman.

Natalie Goldberg: "It's good to go off and write a novel, but don't stop writing practice. It is what keeps you in tune, like a dancer who does warm-ups before dancing or a runner who does stretches before running...Writing practice embraces your whole life and doesn't demand any logical form...Think of writing practice as loving arms you come to illogically and incoherently. It's our wild forest where we gather energy before going to prune our garden, write our fine books and novels. It's a continual practice."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Raining on my Passion Parade

You all know the passion I have for my writing. What a funny thing that I just expect everyone to feel the same excitement and passion about it. Today I have realized that people want to talk about other things. They also have lives outside of my writing. How dare the world rain on my passion parade?

Blissfully Tired

It's after 1 a.m. I've just finished my writing. I've spent the day reading The Writer's Market and Guide to Literary Agents (although the foreward is by Debbie Macomber, my arch nemesis). They motivate me to keep going! I finished 6 pages today! A very productive day. I just can't wait to tell this story!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


A fellow writer mentioned to me this week that she listens to the music that her character would listen to while writing. Tonight I decided to try it and it really does help. In the theater world, we would call this method acting. So I guess I'm method writing?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


My life as a writer has been interrupted this week. So much so that I have had not one moment to write this week. I, for one, cannot write with children present. It messes with my focus. I also can't write with my darling husband in the room, (Picture this: "What did you write now?...How about now?") This week Libby has decided to refuse her nap and instead screams bloody murder for an hour (or two). Her naptime is my usual writing time. And, as you may have surmised, ear piercing shrieks are not the best for writing. I've also had the distraction of having to read 2 books for various book clubs. So now, I'm set. The kids are going to bed at 7:30. The husband is camping. The books are (mostly) read. The creative juices are flowing. The muse and I are going to do some girl bonding!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Writing Group

Every writer needs a group, a place where they fit and where they can be safe with their words and their stories. Tonight I met my group. Over the past two weeks we've planted the seedlings of friendship in the soil of a shared love for the written word and tonight it was time to meet. I was so excited. As I read the first submissions this past week, I knew that I would be working with an overwhelmingly talented group of women. I feel inadequate to join them in beginning my maiden voyage into the waters of the writing world. I look forward to sharing our stories and becoming great writers together. There are kindred spirits among them. I feel it.

Bathing in Words

I am enjoying this immensely. I feel like I'm bathing in words, soaking in them, luxuriating. I have always loved words. Words are the tools we use to create emotion. We are judged on and by our words. When I write, I feel as if I am taking empty and hollow vessels and putting them together on the page to give them life and vigor. It's bliss.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fact or Fiction

I'm getting a taste of what it's going to be like to have written a book that is FICTION based on a few facts. The people who know I'm writing are very concerned with how they are going to be portrayed in anything I should choose to write. I've tried to explain that while I am excited to delve into many different forms of writing, if I write a novel it will be a FICTIONAL account. They still feel the need to give me thier perspective, opinions and specific instructions on how to write. I get an ulcer thinking about what people will think when the book is published and they "cast" themselves as one of the characters.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Muse is back, Doug's not aMUSEd.

So much to my utter delight and complete relief, the muse came back. Last night. At 12:30 a.m. I made a cozy spot for her in the recesses of my brain and invited her for an extended visit. My husband growled and threw his head under the pillow in an attempt to drown out the evidence of her return, the clickety clack of my fingers on the keyboard. Today he asked me to remind the muse that she is a welcome guest as long as she respects the sleeping hours that we keep. I told him that she would love to, but muses biological clocks tend to cause their waking hours to be the hours in which the children are not filling up her accomodations- my mind. I reminded him that she is a very fickle guest and that we must do our best to make her happy. I also reminded him that we have had worse houseguests. At least she buys her own toilet paper.

The Muse flew the coop.

It was horrible. I was a mess. Writer's block isn't fun!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My palms are sweating

I submitted my work for the first time. It was a 1500 word fiction submission for the W@W Fellowship competition. What a vulnerable feeling this is! I find that it is not unlike auditioning for a play.