Thursday, July 29, 2010

Writing Exercises & Cheese Sauce

[Hey folks! By the time you are reading this I will be heading down to Morehead City, NC to meet up with the lovely Shannon and her family. Tomorrow will be art shows and gatherings and fun times. Saturday Sha and I will be embarking upon our very own roadtrip across the states to get her settled into her new home of Missoula!

In the meantime, here's a little something I wanted to share with you about exercises in writing. For this I set a timer for 30 minutes and just hashed out whatever came to mind. Here is the first/shitty rough draft. Hope you enjoy!]

I hate exercises. I hate practicing. I want to do things well, and on the first try. I’m not a perfectionist by any means. I’m a I-Don’t-Give-a-Damner. Which doesn’t work out so well when you also want to be an author and an artist.

When I look at a canvas, usually a painting comes to mind. It forms itself in my head and right in front of my eyes. It is like a sort of vision printed on a thin piece of guaze or vellum paper. The details aren’t all there, but the grand scheme has arrived and demands that I pay it penitence. So I do the best I can with the painting. From sketching it out on the rand to laying down the first coat of paint, to mixing the colors that I think I want to use. To starting all over again if I haven’t gotten it quite right yet.

There is a different sort of approach when it comes to writing. With writing it’s like eating broccoli. (Which I love, by the way. But oddly most people don’t.) You know that eating broccoli is good for you, and that you have to eat it. That doesn’t make the actual task of doing so any easier.

When we were little, my brother hated broccoli, like most children I imagine. The only thing my mother could do in order to get him to eat it at all was to smother it in a cheese sauce. Pretty soon my brother had devoured two helpings of the green stuff, and was licking the cheese off of his plate with gusto.

These exercises to me are like cheese sauce. If I am going to do any writing like a serious writer aught to do, then I’m going to just have to find a way to trick myself into actually sitting down and doing it.

It’s not even that I hate writing; I just hate being forced to sit down and do anything that is considered a learning exercise or something that should be turned into routine. (I loathe routine. It bores me.) But routine is good, it’s healthy for you, you have to have some sort of routine otherwise you end up like a chaotic bit of misanthropic, personified glob of toothpaste. And who the hell wants that? Not I, I suppose.

So, thirty minutes of continuous writing without trying to self-edit too much, and without going back to correct heinous grammar or spelling flubs. That’s what this is all about. It’s me putting the cheese sauce of discipline onto the broccoli of mundane-ness.

And you know what? So far, so good- I think I can actually handle it from here

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