Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Patience, Discipline

Trying to keep an open mind, about everything.

I'm taking a class, Memoirs and Creative Nonfiction, and one of the textbooks features a particularly militant introduction by its editor. She runs down a list of things you must do if you're going to be worth anything as a writer, specifically, a personal essayist.

She advocates charitable work, giving back to the community. She, like everyone else, exhorts the writer to shut up with their excuses and sit down and just write. Neil Gaiman gave me that same advice, when I asked him about writer's block. "Get into plumbing," he said darkly. "Try carpentry. If you're not writing, you might as well do something else, because writers write." I came away feeling like someone had thrown a running lawnmower near my head, as a lesson to stay alert: it could have gone much worse, and I was grateful.

Not that I picked up my pen and started writing, though.

That has only recently happened. I've actually filled up two (small) notebooks with writing, where I sit down, meditate on a theme, and just scribble it all out as fast as I can to fill a page or two. It took a few months to accomplish, but fill the books I did and now writing is more reflexive. During my recent vacation to Louisville, KY, I picked up a very nice notebook, good paper, lies flat when open, and I'm starting over again with all my writing exercises from the Memoirs class. With Noodler's ink and crow's quill, I'm carefully filling in each page with a serious stab at creative writing. I would like to do two writings daily, but... baby steps. Being a textbook Aries I of course want to terraform the entire publishing industry with my hands (okay, with my car, but same essential concept), but I'm reining myself in.

I'm trying to post more. Not so much in LiveJournal as I'm going to abandon that, but I want to write here more often, and I can toss an update up in MySpace, and there are numerous other forums... hell, I should glut them all with my efforts. See how long I can keep that up, make it become second nature, and then...

[DEEP BREATH] Never mind, baby steps. Taking it slowly. Patience, discipline.

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