Thinking About Writing

My intention was to not work between Christmas and New Year’s, taking that time to write. Have I written? No! Okay, one post. But not the pages and pages I’d hoped to churn out. When I’d still written nothing as of yesterday morning (New Year’s Eve), I decided to decline all social invitations.

I must write.

I will write.

Hunker Down

I did not write.

But I did watch, at the suggestion of a dear friend, the entire new Dracula series (6 episodes so far) with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I cannot believe something this spectacular is on network television. In addition to watching television, I read. Upon the suggestion of that same dear friend, I read one of the best books I’ve read on writing in a very long time. Maybe ever. Writing Is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor. She’s also got a WordPress blog. I’m fairly certain I highlighted nearly half the book on my Kindle. It’s filled with dozens of writing exercises, which I’m excited to get started on. Here are two that I’d like to share, before I stop writing about writing, and actually write something. Okay, yes, writing about writing counts. But I want to actually do the exercises, rather than simply write about them.

Two Exercises

1. The Triptych

Instead of starting a piece of writing with a story in mind, you start with an idea or a feeling–a theme. Once you’ve got your theme, you choose three moments or scenes that go with the theme. And then you set to work on writing each of those scenes. Separately. Once you’ve got the scenes written, you can change their order and see which you like best. And then you write the introduction, segues, and a conclusion.

2. The 26-Minute Memoir

Write about the theme of your life in 26 minutes. No planning. No warning. Set the timer and write the story of your life in 26 minutes. And then when you’re done (no editing!), you can submit it to Theo on her blog.

I’m off to actually write. The hope is that I create something to share with you all a bit later. After all, this is the last day of my writing sabbatical.

Happy New Year to all of you. I wish you much of whatever you wish for in 2014.


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