I believe that in the beginning, writing is intuitive. I believe in the muse. I believe that we are visited by ideas in our sleep. I believe in signs and in magic. I believe in craft, too. I do. But that’s for later. The shaping, the skill, the rules and revisions and best practices. First comes an openness to possibility and a willingness to be ridiculous and wrong, but also, just maybe, to be right. It is tha optimism — the “hey, I may be onto something here” — that carries us from blank page to story. Each day, as a writer, I follow little threads of image and thought, and I discover what I might make from them, the way a bird does as she nests. Some of the threads are lasting and substantial, others get pulled out and float away, others still get saved and turned into something else, later. We would all like to start with something solid — the whole nest, tangible and reliable and lovely — or, at the very least, with some sense of what will become solid, what is worth our early effort. But it doesn’t work that way. There’s no telling. Some of the best titles I ever came up with never got a story to go with them. Some of my lowliest ideas became books. Nothing is revealed until after we begin pulling and weaving and teasing and building and playing. There’s no skipping this stage. It is how we get to what is real. Prompt #12: Set a timer for two minutes and during those two minutes, take in and write down everything you can: Your current thoughts. What you skin feels like. The […]
We’ve made it through the first week of START THE YEAR OFF WRITE. Woo-hoo! I couldn’t be happier with how it’s going so THANK YOU to everyone who is has helped my vision become a reality.
I’m excited about week two and the amazing authors coming up including Tara Lazar, David Harrison, Ammi-Joan Paquette, Linda Ashman, Liz Garton Scanlon, Adam Rubin, and Kristen McGill Fulton! I have a few announcements I wanted to pass along but I don’t want to interrupt too much of your writing time so I’m going to try to keep this brief.
1) Make every exercise work for you. It counts for “credit” if you give the exercise a good effort. If it doesn’t fit you perfectly, then curtail it to fit your project/your current needs. Remember, the purpose of this challenge is to try new things to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your writing not to direct your attention away from your work.
2) If you signed up on the blog to receive daily emails for Start The Year Off Write and are NOT are receiving them, please check your spam folder and add my email address (email@example.com) to your contacts folder. If you’re still not receiving them after those changes, email me, I have a few more trouble-shooting steps to share!
3) If you’re just joining Start The Year off Write or you’ve fallen behind on a few of the prompts, you have until midnight on January 31st to comment on any of the author’s blogs for “credit” towards the prizes. (I hope it goes without saying but PLEASE do not comment on every blog the last day. That defeats the purpose of committing yourself to develop your craft. The extra days are to help accommodate […]