Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Take a Load off, Fanny

Yesterday was an unceremoniously sad day. I mourned that my family had really left me in New Orleans to unpack the rest of my boxes and figure out how much of our budget could go towards more storage drawers for my inordinate amount of "important and can't-part-with" belongings, and cried over entering my third trimester without even noticing. Pregnancy hormones, the stuff champions are made of!

End of my second trimester, showing off the belly button bump
I woke up to a new day determined to tackle part of my long list and officially start my Story101 writer's workshop. The prompt for this week asks what may inhibit our writing goals in the next 10 weeks and how can we manage them ahead of time.

The intro week is focused on finding your voice. I signed up for this e-course so as to find my narrative voice. That voice where I can tell a story and not trail off in the middle because I realize I am sharing too many details before I've even hit the punch line. The voice where saying what happened is true, only it hits a funny note or a poignant note or a thought-provoking note. The kind of note you want to re-read, not only because a good friend sent it, but because they had something to say.

Writing itself has become an obstacle, mostly because I don't know why I'm writing anymore. Am I writing because I enjoy it, or because it is the only way I know how to talk to people? My husband likes to tease me about my tendency to start talking to him about something, and then I'll trail off mid-thought. It's because I'm thinking, and when I speak out loud, my words get jumbled because my thoughts get clearer. It would be nice, sometimes, if English was more like Latin: it doesn't matter the order of the words as long as the endings are right. It's the endings that connect the words together, and help translate the author's meaning.

My first obstacle is purpose. Why am I writing? To what end?

My second obstacle is meaning. Why do I write about this story? What do I want people to take away?

My third obstacle is discipline. Write, damnit! Then edit. Stop editing your story before the words have even breathed. Stop unpacking that box. Stop meal planning. Stop nesting. Write. Write more. Write it again!

The only way to manage my obstacles is to answer their question, even if it is a smaller goal than I usually have for my writing. The purpose of my writing is this course; the meaning of my writing is to narrate the prompts given to me; the discipline must be every day. I'll probably set a timer on my phone and then GO! type-type-type, because the only kind of panic I know is the deadline kind. The kind where editors e-mail you and you try to be a microwave writer even though you were made like a crock pot.

So here goes! After having a Last Waltz kind of day, I see myself hopping in a lonely canoe, paddling up Cripple Creek: If I spring a leak, she'll mend me.



Only, I've got 30 other canoes next to me. How wonderful is that? Not so lonely as many writers imagine life to be, at least when faced by all that white space horizon.

5 comments:

  1. Is that picture in your new apartment?! Super cute!!

    LOVING that baby bump!! =)

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  2. You can do it!!! :)

    Ditto to Amanda, very, very cute apartment!

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  3. Beautiful picture! Best of luck with the writing workshop - sounds exciting!

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