Thursday, October 14, 2010

Seasons in the writing process

Writing is a lonely pastime - with most activities there is a coach or team cheering the participant on but with writing its just the writer and the inner critic. An internal editor has its place in our life, it helps prevent us from making prat of ourselves, it acts like sand in polishing the surface of a rough stone. But it can also be the bane of a writers life, whether it be writing for pleasure, education, or work - allow it too much lee-way and the writing becomes like a plane overloaded with cargo, it just cant get off the runway.

My editor is on 24 hours because I draft technical reports, memos, and letters, for a living. Even my telephone conversations are guarded, because I am acutely aware of the diplomacy required in my role. So unfortunately by the time I get home, the editor remands on guard, and I struggle to get words that I have typed or written, to stay on the paper or screen. I can end up editing the same pages for days, even months.

I was reading over at Notdesignedtojuggle.wordpress and picked up a link to about a nifty trick that helps to bypass the critic. The method involves acknowledging the internal critic's dilemma with a phrase or sentence even, by flagging it for ponderance at a later time, and then moving on with the creative flow. So in essence, Andy's advice suggests parking the problem phrase, sentence scene, and signalling like so with he hash key #. I cant work out how to put a link in here so any reader wanting to read in his masters words will have to go over to Andy's pages and read the advice for themself.

The Chilean miners have surfaced, and big celebrations are abound. The strength and courage shown by all of them is remarkable, and the relief the families must be feeling will be overwelming. Its timely for me to remember a couple of the many things I am grateful for:

*Living in the country in fresh air
*Living and working in a reasonably healthy space
*The late Allen Carr, and his book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking (5 mths)
*Human capacity for ingenuity (without which the miners may still be below ground)
*Companionship of hubby
*Having read Desiderata - thank you Max Ehrmann

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