I love to write, so people think it comes easily. It does, and it doesn't. When it doesn't, I rely on the experts. I need guidance and some instructions.
Writing is hard work, but I know why I do it.
Writing fills my heart. Writing allows me to make sense of the voices in my head, the poetry in my soul, the chatter all around me. Still, it is a craft, and it requires instruction. Lucky me, I have two amazing teachers.
Lamott and King. I obsessively absorbing their advice and analyze their style, word choice, structure and rhythm. I have read Stephen King’s “On Writing” and Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life” over and over. Each time, I find new ideas; each time, something I’ve read becomes clearer.
Writing brings me joy. It’s hard work, but I love it.
If you love to write, then write. Everyday. Every chance you get. But don’t just write, read your writing, study it; read other writing and study that. Buy a book on writing. I suggest buying a live book as opposed to a digital download or library rental because you will want to write in it.
Both my books by King and Lamott have notes in all the margins, words circled, lines underlined, pages starred and dog-eared. They are my instructors, and I heed their words like notes on a treasure map.
Writing is not a 9 to 5 job. It’s 24/7. Make the most of it.
Here are some more recommended readings on writing:
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Page After Page by Heather Sellers
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
I am breaking from my traditional Sunday blog posting, to share this.
On June 3, the very dear Teagan Kearney bestowed the prestigious "Versatile Blogger" award upon me. Haha. Well, maybe not prestigious, but it is fun to receive awards.
There are some requirements attached to receiving the award:
1. Thank the giver.
2. Name 15 new recipients.
3. Tell the giver 7 special things about yourself.
First of all, Thanks Teagan!!
I'm not sure how I earned my way onto her list, but I am so grateful I did because I just spent the week culling my own list of 15 (not an easy task). I finally narrowed it down (some I couldn't add because they'd already received the award).
Now I'd like to share with you 15 great writing and reading resources:
Fiona Quinn, http://www.fionaquinnbooks.com/
Kate Tilton, http://katetilton.com/kateblog/
Charli Mills, http://elmirapond.blogspot.com/
Anne Goodwin, http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/
Natalie Sampson, http://www.nataliecorbettsampson.com/
Jenny Bravo, http://blotsandplots.com/
Kate Grubb, http://10minutewriter.com/
Melissa Robles, http://thereaderandthechef.blogspot.com/
Clara Ryanne Heart, http://clara-ryanne-heart.blogspot.com/
http://sportygirlbooks.blogspot.com/ (a collective)
For Teagan, 7 random things about me:
1. I am not afraid of the dark.
2. I prefer only to wear sandals or boots.
3. I am an excellent parallel parker.
4. I have a crush on the entire Oakland A's team.
5. I put my kids inside my heart every night before I go to sleep.
6. Stephen King is my mentor (he doesn't know it).
7. I can make up a poem on the spot - about anything.
Thanks, again, Teagan. Happy blogging everyone!
Lisa Reiter is an amazing and brave woman. (You’ll need to visit her website to learn why I believe this to be true.). She is also a creative writer who is generous enough to invite us into her world and share our memories.
Friday, May 2, Lisa initiated a weekly writing invite on her site called, BITE SIZE MEMOIRS. Lisa wants us to spend a few moments reflecting on the past and recording those thoughts to share with the world. Telling your story is soul-cleansing.
Northern California Author Anne Lamott has spent nearly her whole life writing about her family and self. Kind of like running a marathon on a treadmill – you race hard but never reach a finish line. It can be exhausting, but it can also be exhilarating.
In Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne says: “Just put down on paper everything you can remember now about your parents and siblings and relatives and neighbors, and we will deal with libel later on.” (Lisa asks us to be kind and leave out last names; she doesn’t want to deal with libel at all).
I’ve taken up this week’s challenge: Using the theme SCHOOL AT SEVEN, write 10 lines of “I remember” or 150 words. Check the website for the official unofficial rules. Whether you choose to share with the Lisa and us or not, you will enjoy remembering your childhood and all the crazy nonsense that comes along with growing up.
“School at Seven” by Ellen Plotkin Mulholland, b. 1963, California, USA
I remember my long blue flowered dress with the gathered bodice.
I remember swinging higher than my best friend.
I remember hearing the f-word from ginger-haired Tommy Something.
I remember creating Barbie towns and using our shoes as cars.
I remember recess and the large expanse of black asphalt, the kickball zone, the sandpit.
I remember sitting in rows, alphabetically.
I remember the green chalkboard and waiting for my turn to clap dusty black erasers on the pavement outside after school.
I remember waiting for my big brother and little sister at the chain-link fence.
I remember walking home and not taking candy from strangers and worrying about strangers and slow moving cars.
And I remember wanting to be 8 because that would be better than being 7.
I wonder who these great women that we admire today set on their own pedestal when they were girls? Who were their inspirations?
March is Women's History Month. Is 31 days really enough? Why do we still need our own month to draw attention to the amazing things we do? When we finally elect a woman president, will we stop? Probably not.
Yes, we've come a long way, baby; but we've miles to go before we sleep.
While we're awake, let's take a moment to think about a few women who've made a difference in our lives. Now, I can't presume to tell you who's made a difference in yours. Sure, I could suggest Susan B. Anthony, Mother Teresa, Oprah. The talked about. However, only you can decide who those women really are, who are those women who've cleared your path, shaped your dreams, opened your doors. It's different for each of us. I can only speak for me.
My own mother, of course. My mom married at 19, started a family, raised that family, and went back to college when she was 42. She taught me not to let life get in your way but to make your life your way.
My daughter. She teaches me everyday that life is fun. She reminds me that so much of what we see is a mystery and that if we bring joy to the search to unravel these curiosities, we will grow exponentially. Joy + Curiosity = Passion.
My friend, Jane. You don't know Jane, but you have a Jane in your life. Jane is a combination of my mom and daughter. Jane brings joy and curiosity into her life and lives with passion. She runs mini marathons; she's a successful businesswoman; she's a loving mom; she takes time out to see the world and LIVE; she is a loyal friend. Jane is a woman to admire this month.
There are so many others. Each woman in my life sits in my heart like a feather, gently reminding me of the greatness that lies within me, the potential of possibilities.
We have 31 days. Who do you admire? Who brings into this life the qualities you wish to embrace? It's Women's History Month, girls; let's do this!