Monday, January 26, 2009

I can('t) see clearly now, my brain is frogged...I (ignore) all obstacles in my way...


I’d always thought about the writing process as just what it was: I sit down; I write; the story comes out. It makes for good fun to write this way, for I simply have a character nudge me (and I may only see that characters eyes, mouth, hair, and I may "hear" a prompt, “This is how it is…”) and off I go. In my way of "seeing and hearing," traditional stories about family and friends and Place and Belonging arrive—nothing really all that original. The originality is in the cracks and crevices, in the wording perhaps, or between the between. We find ourselves in our writing and our writing finds us--there is the meeting, the sonic boom of crashing together. The "oh!" of surprise at this big bang of creation.

Instead of plots and outlines and structure, my brain splinters and gives me a kaleidoscope of images flashing past so quickly that I can’t grab hold of them but one image at a time; but quickly and surely this happens, and I write down an image and another and another and go from there. All in all, its easier for me to just let my brain do its thing, write the story as it comes, and hope for the best.

Surely my brain's way of interpreting my world, in the way it perceives data and love and lives and images and words and thoughts has served me well enough? Or at times has frustrated me. Or left me dizzy with possibilities unseen and unarrived? Or given me gifts? Perhaps there are trade-offs. Perhaps if I saw my world in completes instead of parts, I’d not see things in the way I do, and in not seeing them in the way I do, perhaps I would not have "met" the characters who have come to me in visions of eyes, mouth, and hair. Perhaps I’d be someone else. Then I would not be me. My writing would be someone else's.
Embrace You. Be true to your writing, to yourself. Write What You Know means much more than what is apparent.
One more week for the book give-a-way! On Friday, I will collect all the "entries" and publish them on this blog. Then I will put up the names of those entires. Everyone will read these beautiful writings placed here and vote on the one that somehow tugs at something visceral - that has them think "oh!" or that makes them laugh or cry or think or that excites them - whatever it is that will cause one to say "That's the one I choose."
(google image from fr.fotolia.com)

7 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

My writing brain works this way, too; working off of images. My best stuff seems to come from that I draw out from pictures in my mind.

And I had an epiphany about my voice this weekend. Your call to "be true to your writing, to yourself" is further confirmation for me. :)

I think I left a comment already? My entry is posted today. It was fun! Such a great and sad photo that was for me...

Angie Ledbetter said...

If you saw the "whole" picture, as you say, maybe the vignettes and characters wouldn't be so crisp, deep and unique. Me love your brain, twirly parts and all. :)

Blog bling awaits you over at my bloggy place.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Janna-- I saw it! And as I said, ohhh, it's so hard not to comment on the 'entries!" -it's killing me to just say "thank you...."

Angie - boop oop a doop! OOP! teehee

Debbie said...

I don't know how we will ever select a winner. The ones I have read are all so fabulous (except mine - I am not talking out mine here). But, this is great fun and I am off to read your other commenter's entry.

Matthew Welsh said...

Yeah, sometimes I wonder if planning interferes with creativity or writing. But, then I think it is helpful for me to plan to sit down at a set time and write and just let the words come out

Jenn Johansson said...

I am the same way. My WIP was written entirely from bursts of inspiration as I sat at my computer. After I finished it and started the editing process the bursts just kept coming even though I wasn't writing anymore at the moment--so I finally wrote an outline and ended up with 4 more books plotted out. I wonder if once I sit down to actually work on them they will go wildly off track from my outline or they will stick mainly on course. Only time will tell I suppose :)

Kathryn Magendie said...

Isn't it the coolest thing?