A Scrappy Afghan

The idea that it’s a given that it is required to be done is daunting enough. Did that make any sense to you? It almost did to me. I just started typing and let my brain go.

I’m trying to think of what to write and just typing away hoping something will come out of the mess that is being typed. Say one true thing and go from there is what he said, Hemingway was it? Something close to that.

What is true today is that I’ve been crocheting a scrappy blanket and I got too far using just certain colors and then tried to introduce others as they accrued from trips to a thrift store, (and Walmart). Now there are too many rows of the original colors and it’s become quit a challenge to integrate the others in a way that seems cohesive and pleasing. It’s been my experience that it usually comes together well enough in the end if I go along with enough trust in my intuition.

It’s all I can do to not quit this challenge that I’ve given myself, to write something every single day for one year — not the afghan, it’s a nice diversion.

I do so want to give up and after this mess I may just do that tomorrow. For now I’ll call this “something” and let it go at that.

And then I’m going to block quote this excerpt and hope I don’t have internet police come hunting me down and the copyright isn’t being infringed because it seems that a lot of people who visit me are trying to write as well and this was good advice:

Number six —

writing. Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair. That’s the secret of life. That’s probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it. They do it by prearrangement with themselves. They do it as a debt of honor. They tell stories that come through them one day at a time, little by little.When my older brother was in fourth grade, he had a term paper on birds due the next day, and he hadn’t started. So my dad sat down with him with an Audubon book, paper, pencils and brads — for those of you who have gotten a little less young and remember brads — and he said to my brother, “Just take it bird by bird, buddy. Just read about pelicans and then write about pelicans in your own voice. And then find out about chickadees, and tell us about them in your own voice. And then geese.”

So the two most important things about writing are: bird by bird and really god-awful first drafts. If you don’t know where to start, remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours, and you get to tell it. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.

You’re going to feel like hell if you wake up someday and you never wrote the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart: your stories, memories, visions and songs — your truth, your version of things — in your own voice. That’s really all you have to offer us,and that’s also why you were born.

Please do go visit to read the rest.

Ciao

Talking To Myself

You’re not taking it seriously.
I know. But isn’t it better to do something rather than nothing?
Could be.
Building strong muscles takes endurance, doesn’t it?
I suppose.
I might get more serious when spring rolls around but it might be that the warmer weather will interfere as much as the cold.
Well, you know what so and so says, ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right’ — Ford wasn’t it?
It’s not a matter of whether I can or whether I can’t — I already am. It seems to be more of a question of what others think ‘being a writer’ is. Should someone who writes think at all about what others think?
Maybe if they’re trying to make money at it?
Cold weather makes me want to cuddle and knit and warm weather makes me want to go out and mingle with the ants and birds.
Is that procrastinating or avoidance or just plain preference interfering?
Maybe it’s a matter of not wanting it enough or not wanting enough to be great? How much weight needs to be lifted to become a great weightlifter? Or a good one for that matter — not that it matters — or does it?

Do you think you do — want it?
Want what?
To be a writer?
Yes, but I’m not sure I want to be a ‘great writer’ — whatever that means. Can someone only be a ‘writer’ if they have unwieldy expectations of grandeur to become a real and great writer?
What do you mean by ‘unwieldy’?
Oh, possibly top heavy or awkward or overly stacked one way more than another such that everything else in life is balanced more toward writing. Something like that. Maybe that’s a poor choice of words but it came to mind when I was thinking about how writing every.single.day. seems to weigh so heavily on my mind and how if I don’t do it I feel a sense of guilt —  but I also know that not every day something good is written because it’s actually only done for exercise and building writing muscle so that eventually words will flow out and into a real kind of structure that might have a little more meaning and value — even to myself.
Are you talking to yourself again?
Yes, I’m talking to myself again.
Someone in the grocery store said the other day that they talk to themselves because they were only good at listening when they were listening to themselves. I said I wasn’t even good at listening to myself because I lie to me and can’t be trusted to tell myself the truth so why bother listening if I’m lying — and, I think most everybody else lies as well so why listen to them either.
Actually, I’m not that bad at listening to liars if the liar isn’t me — b
ut, I’m bored with listening now — so, can we go out and play with the ants?
I suppose except that the ants are hibernating now so we can just go out and wait for spring when they’ll all come out to play again.
That sounds good to me. Or maybe we should read?

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. ~ Stephen King

image credit: Katherine Streeter