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Freedom From Face(book)

Written by washwords on February 16, 2010 – 11:11 pm

Given the ennui I’d been feeling, the cabin fever (I mean a week in the cabin, great,  but that 9th or 10th day starts hurting….), I could see it starting.  I was on a superslick luge track to gold medal snarkery.

Sure, I was proud. I mean this is what I trained for, right? My years apprenticing at the snarktory, my nights by the fire practicing my craft. Don’t get me wrong. I was up for it. I know my abilities to sear veins with vitriol, microsurgery to the heart of the heart. (Oh, did I mention? Scorpio! In my soul.)

And plus, I was Right. About every. single. thing. Every Facebook argument anyone implied (by breathing, coughing, not breathing, not coughing) they wanted to have.  And I was ready to battle.  Think  Lost is the world’s best TV show;  blue your favorite color, Beyonce, the world’s best singer??  Uh, no. Incorrect. FAIL. You suck. Lemme tell you why. In 27 points.

Think you know the most about snowflakes, government shut downs, politics, movies. You don’t.

I do. And I can’t bear to let you think so for a minute. Why? Because you’re wrong. WRONG!!!

But the thing was all this rightness wasn’t making me less blue, nor less tired, nor more proud. It was just making me mean. and tired. and empty.

I sat watching the scrolling letters of facebook / twitter/ blog feeds / email/ texts… I felt my teeth clench, knuckles tighten into a ball, eyes strain and bluegray washing over all the very rightness and joy and success I thought I’d been wanting to celebrate.

And suddenly, rising over the foggy, snarky, venomous place, Read more »

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Posted in words | 10 Comments »

Testing 1 2 3 or Just start, redeux

Written by washwords on February 15, 2010 – 10:47 am

Starting with an apology has begun to become cliche and,for this blog anyway, just redundant.

But I am. Sorry for anyone who hung on, hoping I might return and to those who stumbled here accidentally and got…nothing. Blank sky , white wash.

But mostly, I am sorry to me, myself for stopping. My fellow writer pal (one of many I’ve never met but have known in some deeper place from long ago) expressed the hunger, exquisitely.
It hurts me not to write. Not (just ;) ) in some tortured “oh woe is the Writer ” way. No I mean something much much more basic. It hurts my head, spinning muddled banalities. It hurts my heart, opening all the wrong doors to familiar ghosts — blues and lows that sink and sludge. It hurts my stomach, gurgling the junk food of laziness of mind and body.

I know this. And yet I don’t or easily forget anyway. I can’t take back the forgetting.

All I can do is start. Again.

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Posted in wash, words | 6 Comments »

Just start.

Written by washwords on October 31, 2009 – 2:53 pm

I know, odd thing to say from someone who seems to have “just STOPPED” blogging, but…in writing, and in life, the thing is: start. Fill the page, fill your heart, keep going, don’t stop to nitpick, just go. Then go some more. That’s how you do it.

That’s the philosophy behind nanowrimo, which I’ll be participating in for the 4th time this year . nano_09_blk_participant_100x100_1.png I am a disciple of the church of Chris Baty, founder of this amazing program and worldview. So I’ll let him tell you more (from the nanowrimo FAQ page), one of my favorite passages in any published material anywhere:

If I’m just writing 50,000 words of crap, why bother? Why not just write a real novel later, when I have more time?

There are three reasons.

1) If you don’t do it now, you probably never will. Novel writing is mostly a “one day” event. As in “One day, I’d like to write a novel.” Here’s the truth: 99% of us, if left to our own devices, would never make the time to write a novel. It’s just so far outside our normal lives that it constantly slips down to the bottom of our to-do lists. The structure of NaNoWriMo forces you to put away all those self-defeating worries and START. Once you have the first five chapters under your belt, the rest will come easily. Or painfully. But it will come. And you’ll have friends to help you see it through to 50k.

2) Aiming low is the best way to succeed. With entry-level novel writing, shooting for the moon is the surest way to get nowhere. With high expectations, everything you write will sound cheesy and awkward. Once you start evaluating your story in terms of word count, you take that pressure off yourself. And you’ll start surprising yourself with a great bit of dialogue here and a ingenious plot twist there. Characters will start doing things you never expected, taking the story places you’d never imagined. There will be much execrable prose, yes. But amidst the crap, there will be beauty. A lot of it.

3) Art for art’s sake does wonderful things to you. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you want to take naps and go places wearing funny pants. Doing something just for the hell of it is a wonderful antidote to all the chores and “must-dos” of daily life. Writing a novel in a month is both exhilarating and stupid, and we would all do well to invite a little more spontaneous stupidity into our lives.

Go forth, give it a shot, see you on the flip side, or keep watching this space for updates as I profess. I’d love your early feedback on my work in progress.

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