The Third Coast Writing Project, which I’m currently a participant and is a chapter of the National Writing Project, ties well to my previous essay about memes of the mind as referenced by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I’ve been reminded daily this week of what it takes to be a writer:
- A writer writes every day.
- A writer doesn’t need huge blocks of time to create. After all, it only takes a minute to write one sentence. A page can be written in 10-15 one-minute minutes.
- Good writing comes from detailing the ordinary, which makes the ordinary extraordinary.
- Writing is all about concrete words, visual words, active verbs.
- Writing is all about abstract ideas made concrete.
Once again, I reminded that I can write anywhere. It doesn’t matter there are other activities, people, or noise. I’m amazed how easily I can block it out. The only problem is that we have to stop having just begun!
Donald Murray, one of the gurus of creative writing, a Pulitzer prize winner, who died recently, says in his 1996 book, Crafting a Life in Essay, Story, Poem that “most writers never write. They want to be writers . . . intend to write this weekend or next . . . when the kids start school or graduate . . . when they retire.” Writers who don’t write “write but do not finish what they start . . . have drawers and file cabinets full of grand beginnings” (p. 9-10).
So, I went to one of my too filing cabinet of heavily drawered grand beginnings and finished pieces in need of rewrites and found a book of poetry I’d written as a graduation project from Lee Honors College at Western in 2003.
Reading through the work, I could see why it’d been rejected by publishers, but most of the writing was good, solid, and worth revisiting again. Since then, I’ve written much more that could be added. Definitely, a project worth pursing again with a goal to submit and soon!
For me, writing has always been easy. In the beginning, I wrote to escape. Then I wrote because of publishing deadlines or publisher interest. Then to escape again. Then professor deadlines. By the time I graduated with my MFA in 2006, I was so weary of writing, I could barely write my name. So, I went on hiatus . . . until recently. I’ve fallen in love with writing all over again, only now I find I’m writing about the ultimate love of my life—nature.
Words on a page, no problem. The real work is about the details, the business details: creating copy ready material, matching my work to the most appropriate publisher, which means a lot of research. Writing, the original creation of a work is pure right-brain work, a process that did not come natural to me. As a once heavy left-brain individual, I am now more right brain; however, I do retain my left-brain organizational traits, much to the amusement of one friend in particular, plus I write using many left-brain techniques.
So what was this essay all about? Deadlines for one but mostly for pure joy and simple pleasure and its own reward.