Happy Friday everyone! Are you, like me, a little shell-shocked it’s not only Friday, but the first Friday in March? I feel like I’ve somehow skipped a few days somewhere…
Have you all had a chance to pick up A Writer’s Book of Days? Did you get a chance to peek into it or try your hand at a couple of the prompts? I know for myself, when I look back at what I’ve written, I tend to rely really heavily on sight descriptors: what things look like, the colors of objects, the visual impact of scenery. Second to that, I go for how things feel, both in terms of tactile sensations and emotions. Sounds get a cursory mention. I could definitely benefit from spending more time paying attention to the scent of life around me and learning to verbalize taste.
What are your go-to descriptors?
This week, let’s read just a short bit from “Guideline 3: Don’t Judge Your Writing.” We’re all our own worst critics, right? Pawns to the call of our own perfectionism, we stall when we don’t meet our own expectations. I love this section on bringing loving-kindness to our writing practice – for that’s what it is: practice. Whoever is perfect on the first go? Violinists don’t get to play first solo at Carnegie Hall the first time they set bow to string, right? And yet, we writers and artists sometimes expect ourselves to do the literary equivalent the minute we set pen to paper.
So I’d like us to read just a small bit from Guideline 3, focusing especially on the little mini-sections: “Perfectionism,” “About Language,” “A Few Sentences on the Sentence,” “False Starts,” and “Truth is in the Details.” And maybe just take note: when your perfectionist is talking, what kinds of things does she say? How does she stall you in your writing? Then when you sit down to write, you can give your perfectionist a hug and send her on her way.
To whet your appetite, I’ll share this part I love:
“Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no name,” said Toni Morrison. Use the language of your fears, give voice to your terrors, call them up in the night and name them. Do this, too, with your joys and your pleasures. Write in the language of your prayers.
My friends, write in the language of your prayers.