Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Daily Ink Slinging

I write every day. That's the rule

On Thanksgiving, I took the day off. I orchestrated an exception to the rule. And was well aware of it. Somewhere around my second dinner, while a plate of turkey passed me and I was eyeing the rosemary bread, it occurred to me that a surplus of words was stockpiling in my head. There was a cramp forming.

A great deal of my nervous energy is streamlined into words. Most of the time it's dispersed with old-school ink slinging. I fill notebook after notebook with as many words as I can manage. I view each page as a picture as much as it is a work of words. It's a composition in form. And, as I get better, the sketchings start to be built on firmer architecture.

The practice of writing is often neglected in favor of the writing produced from the practice. You see, the practice often involves terrible writing, and this can still be good practice. Shit writing must be exorcized and exercised out of the mind and thus it is actually part of great practice.

An important book that has helped me understand the practice of writing is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.  The audiobook edition I've linked to is narrated with additional commentary from the author. She is delightful. Thoughtful. And, being older than when she wrote the book, is able to give wisdom into the processes of maturation.  The publisher, Sounds True, has long been a favorite source of mine for recordings on mindfulness and meditation. It shouldn't be surprising that they brought this great practitioner of mindful writing to my attention.

Most of my writing practice yields little but successions of words generally outlining long tangents of discursive thoughts. Procrastination from paid writing will lead to elaborate forays into imagination, experiment, memory or just random permutations of interesting-sounding words.

But sometimes I strive to keep my focus upon a topic long enough, with enough information and detail hammered into the copy, that there is something useful encoded that might be useful to other readers. I hope to direct these writings to this blog which has laid dormant for some years now. I'm going to leave the old blogs up because they are there. They are what they are.

But after slinging ink for the last few years, my chops are honed enough to work directly into the digital -- straight into the blogger interface. May my word counts here accumulate into an interconnected database of subjects, characters, settings, and scenes.

My suggestion for anyone is to dive into the practice of writing today. Make a blogger account. Let me know. I'll subscribe and watch your progress.

Or get a notepad.

It doesn't matter. Just write. Word after word sling the ink. It's the practice that counts.

A musician spends years behind closed doors working towards that ability to play when it counts. Fill your notebook. Play all the notes. Write all the words.

Then, one day, you sit down and have a great performance.

And it's a first draft...