The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live. Be a human before being an artist.
June 27 to July 4, 2014
Jun 27: 557 words
Jun 28: 562 words
Jun 29: 512 words
Jun 30: 0 words
Jul 1: 103 words
Jul 2: 588 words
Jul 3: 503 words
Jul 4: 634 words
NB: I’m going the way of my friend, 1000 Words, and doing a daily word count because if I don’t start writing again, I’m going to implode. It’s been more than three months.
Starting with 500 words a day. It’s small, but it’s so difficult and forced and I feel like I’m going to implode anyway. But I found someone to keep me accountable because I apparently cannot on my own. I told him to take no excuses, and he won’t.
The consistency bit is getting there…
Stay with me, universe.
A poem for you today.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
- Rudyard Kipling
Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.
- Alan Watts
How to open a story
More recently, in medias res has come to signify the idea that a writer is best to open a story—or novel or essay or memoir—with dramatic action rather then exposition. As a teacher of writing I see this constantly, and ninety percent of the time I’m hopelessly lost by the third paragraph…
…a strong opening doesn’t have to grab the reader by the throat and throw them into the middle of the action. In fact, all things considered, most readers would rather not be grabbed at all. Instead, we are often most drawn in by those authors who can calmly promise us a compelling story and invite us along for the ride.
Reminds me of what Vonnegut said:
Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.