Sunday, September 23, 2007

Babbling about writing...

"These days

whatever you have to say, leave
the roots on, let them
dangle

And the dirt

Just to make clear
where they come from"

-Charles Olson


Forgive me for my absence and also for my complete obsession with my own words. I have been writing. Yesterday I passed an important word-count landmark. Before when I have written books, I have gone back time after time and edited. I have waited months, even years to complete a paragraph. I have wasted so much time going back and reading what I had already written that I have not finished until the story was stale. But this time it is different. This time I have just been writing it down as it comes to me. I try not to judge or to edit or to read back. I have been leaving the dirt on the roots.

I have hit rough patches. Three of my characters sat in a van for a few weeks as I tried to get them to tell me what they did next. I had to go a chapter ahead and wait for them until they finally told me how they got there. One of my characters spent the better part of a week in a garden shed before she told me that she had discovered the seeds stored in a dusty glass jar on the top shelf. She's out now and has just finished growing a garden full of sweet peas.

I've been devouring the book Fruitflesh as I have been working. So far I feel like I have been collecting the bones of my story, and with every word I read of this book I get more excited to move on from the adventure of the first draft to the juice of the second. For the first time in my life I have completely given myself over to my own words. I have been showing up at the page, listening to the whispers and allowing my writing from the inside out. I can't explain it any better than that. But that is where I have been.

Here's a little bit of advice on writing (or any creative outlet really) - I HIGHLY recommend this book!! (and I just found the author's blog!!! YAY!!)

"If you find your writing getting away from you, bring your focus back to the body. Reel your words back under your skin, to what you're experiencing in the moment - the taste of sourdough in your mouth, the way the light hits the blue lip of the water glass, the scent of dirty laundry wafting across the room. Let yourself be fully present, in the world and on the page. Tell the story only you can tell, the one that hums inside your cells, the one that only you can release. Let the warmth of your body bring your words to full ripeness." - Gayle Brandeis Fruitflesh pg. 15

12 comments:

Jessie said...

Fruitflesh and Writing Begins with a Breath--I love these titles and feel the desire to investigate them further. Thanks for the suggestion!

I have a feeling that something really big and wonderful is going to come out of all this writing. :) I'm serious. I have good intuition when it comes to this sort of thing. I look forward to looking for your bookS (plural) at my favorite bookstores someday soon.

Oh, and about that letter. Don't think that I've forgotten! Ummm...I sort of got sucked up by time's vacuum. If I wrote you a letter every time I thought about it...you'd have a hundred of them by now! :)- Letter coming soon. Promise. ;)

j.

Kirsten Michelle said...

i love that you pop away every now and again from your own book, to share inspiring quotes and luscious links...
congrats on passing your word-count milestone, i'm so glad your characters are finding their way through you and one step closer to us ;-)
love to you,
k
xo

Melba said...

Your process is fascinating to me. I love when people reveal how they think. Thank you.
XO,
Melba

Amber said...

You have been doing what I think I need to do-- step AWAY from the blog, and pay attention to my book. It has just sat this week. Doing nothing. Gah. I SUCK.

I was thinking of you and a post you did about Caroline Myss awhile ago, because I did my archetype wheel. Have you done that? It is almost creep how well the cards I chose sit in the themes of the houses. I can the connections so clearly! And in my house of "highest potential" sits "The Storyteller". *sigh* And yet here I am reading blogs. lol

:)

Frida said...

Yay! Okay - my bossy hat on for a second- please never apologise for being away writing, or for being obsessed with your own words.

This post reads like medicine and magic to me - because I remember your posts of frustration with procrastination and distraction.

This post is the answer to my own question (will I ever really be able to just sit down and write the story that is itching to get out of me?).

The answer is YES - thanks!! And keep on rocking like that!

gayle said...

Thank you so much for mentioning my book Fruiflesh--I appreciate it tremendously and am so delighted that the book has been helpful for you. May you continue to give yourself over to your own juicy words...

xo
gayle

Tori said...

Megg-Congrats on passing this word count. It sounds like you have been working diligently. I am glad to see your words here again.

Thanks for the email...I will be sending one your way very soon.

Patresa said...

A bloggie friend (Deirdre) sent me your link saying she immediately thought of me when she read it. Well, after 10+ years she knows me well. Ha!

Your description of your process writing this novel fits me to a 'T'. EGAD, there's hope! I'm not totally screwy. I needed to be reminded to "leave the dirt on the roots". Write on. When my chararcters get into rough places and are slow to tell me "what next" it's OK to write on to the next chapter and wait for them. Yes.

"Fruitflesh" has been on the shelf next to my computer, dripping juice, trying to get my attention for quite some time now. I will heed the call. Thank you for the reminder.

May the seeds of success ripen and grow spectacular fruit for you.
Blessings, Patresa

daisies said...

wonderful ~ have added it to my wishlist :) i am so very very happy for you!! xox

Mardougrrl said...

I am thrilled for you...I want to read Fruitflesh myself (as its one of the rare writing books I have NOT read yet) and I loved that author's novel "Self Storage."

Yay! I know things are going to work out for your writing.

Sentient Marrow said...

How's your writing coming along? Well, I hope. I'm finishing week #2 of the Artist's Way and so far, so good. :)

Marilyn said...

That Charles Olson quote...wow. Good for you for turning yourself over to it (the writing).