Archive for January, 2010

finding the right [words]

January 6, 2010

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” -@MargaretAtwood

this quote hits the nail on the head. wait, i’m not a handyman, that analogy’s not right.

this quote  is genius. wait, i’m not a member of mensa, how do i know what defines genius?

this quote rocks. wait, i’m completely tone deaf.

this quote is amazing. wait, i am no good at mazes and puzzles and suduku and logic.

this quote blows my mind.

SEE, this is why i often have a hard time getting myself to write. i am waiting for perfection to strike and that rarely if ever (ok, NEVER) happens with the first draft. i am waiting for perfection. that’s not normal. well, it might be normal for someone who isn’t published. and it might be considered normal for someone who is an amateur writer. and it’s definitely normal for someone who has some self-doubt swirling around in the head.

the act of waiting. is waiting even an action? it’s more like the opposite of action. and again, i am reminded of that scene in “the holiday” where kate winslet’s character realizes that she needs to be the leading lady of her own life. it seems i should follow her advice. it’s not proper to wait for anything and in fact, it’s something i despise doing. so why aren’t i getting down and dirty with words? why aren’t i down on the ground shoveling through missed metaphors and too long descriptions and poorly paced scenes? why aren’t i tumbling through paragraphs and sentences and phrases and fragments? it all sounds a lot more enticing than waiting.

the truth is, i have to write every day. and by “have to” i mean “should.” i should write every day to learn the cadences of words, the rhythm of storytelling, the rhyme of heartbreak, the sound of love, the pace of laughter. i’m not going to learn them by being afraid to write, by thinking it’s not good enough, by wondering who is reading. i am writing for me. to get better. to learn. to teach. to enjoy. to escape. to fail. to succeed.  the age old adage of “practice makes perfect” is true. i know it to be so from an athletic standpoint. and i’m learning it from a creative standpoint.

but for a small taste of something [i consider] extremely close to perfection, read this. this is the definition of an amazing writer because i have little in common with her (i didn’t go to an ivy league school, i wasn’t a lawyer, i’m not married, i don’t have kids), but her words drip with honesty and reality and humor and truths so raw, i have to check to make sure they’re still wearing clothes. in short,  i can relate to her. and her most recent post is one that i (hopefully) will have to deal with sooner rather than later. because in a life full of random, mismatched, silly stories, this is one story that i want to add to my collection. this is one story that i want to tell over and over until people can recite the story with me. and with the newfangled ways people have of meeting one another, it’s probably going to be a relatively crazy story and so i’d better get used to the idea of an untraditional beginning. (though i’d be perfectly happy to have a boring tale to tell).

NOTE TO SELF: see? this is what’s so cool. i started out with a quote about writing and ended up speaking/thinking/pondering about love. when i sit down to write, i never know what is going to happen. i need to embrace that. not be afraid. and just jump. and by jump, i mean sit down and tippity tap on the keyboard or swiggity swipe my pen across the sheet of paper. get ‘er done.