Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Book: Days Twelve and Thirteen

Pages Written: 2

I really hate being on a daily writing routine. Much like I would totally hate being on a daily exercise routine. I'm sure it's no different. I'm hoping my writing brain is like any other muscle and will become accustomed to regular use.

In other news...actually, in totally ironic news, I started an Introductory Creative Writing course tonight. Yes, as if I'm not writing enough these days, I thought I would torture myself by entering the world of assignments, grades and course credits. It might have seemed entirely intelligent to take a memoir writing class at this point in my life, but instead, I'm jumping into fiction, my most-hated form of writing. What can I say...I'm a sucker for punishment, or is it that I crave variety? Maybe it's both. Maybe neither. Who knows why the tall penguin does anything at all?

The first class tonight was all kinds of fun. We did an hour of ice-breaking games, which I always appreciate. I firmly believe in bonding a group early in a course. When I used to teach workshops, I always got the group up and interacting as soon as possible. People who laugh together can create together. I think most corporations, and educational institutions, and governments, for that matter, forget this. The world is far too serious. We need to learn to laugh more.

The instructor gained Brownie points with me when she handed out an extensive recommended reading list on the art of writing, but then qualified it by saying, "If you only read one book on writing, it should be, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Nathalie Goldberg." I was given this book by my High School English teacher many years ago and have always considered Goldberg a writing guru. Reading her books is like talking to a friend over coffee. She addresses the writer's mind in a simple and honoring way.

We did a short sample writing during class tonight; what the instructor called a "diagnostic". We had to write about a particularly traumatic or emotional time during our childhood. As you can imagine, this was not difficult for me. And yet, I didn't write about anything you'd probably think I would write about. I didn't write about being raised a Jehovah's Witness; I wrote about a particularly scarring, yet humorous, event that happened when I was five. And it's going in The Book for sure.

I really have to stop capitalizing "The Book". It makes it out to be this big, ugly scary monster; the kind I'd like to have extracted from under my bed. I think I'm making it out to be scarier than it needs to be. They're just words on a page. Just words on a page. To paraphrase Dory in Finding Nemo: "Just keep writing. Just keep writing."

tall penguin


hannabelle said...

I was reading this blog post from a friend and thought to pass it along:

As if you need any more books on writing, but still...

Congrats on all the progress you've made so far!


tall penguin said...

Cool. Thanks Hanna!