Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Worked This Week

The Art of Slow Writing. I don't think I've enjoyed a writing book this much in a long, long time. Not since Elizabeth Berg's Escaping Into The Open. I recommend this book to anyone who writes, or wants to write. It's so counter-cultural to the current publishing climate of "hurry! publish! create!" that it is refreshing. Take your time. Focus on the process. Find the joy again. All messages I need to hear.

Here is an excerpt that I think best sums up the flavor of this book:

"So much of life today occurs quickly. All this instant this and instant that makes it hard for us as writers to understand that it might take a long time to write a book, and that we often can't predict how much time the work will take. It might make us expect to write our books more quickly than they can or should be written. It might make the people in our lives believe we should finish our work sooner than it's possible. It might make us feel like failures because we're taking such a long time. And it might cause us to abandon an important work... Sometimes a book comes quickly. More often, a book takes a long time. The only way to finish is to keep working until a book is finished. Rushing through writing a book is rushing through life." (p.225)

Uniball Signo Pen. It's the little things, as they say, and this is one of those little things. I spend the $4 to splurge on this pen (and yes it must be the pink ones) and use it to write in my to-do notebooks (see Monday's post about organization for explanations about these) and it makes the actual writing just so pleasant. This is no small thing, when you think about it. If you've got to make a list of things to do, the action should at least be pleasant. 

Into the Woods. This worked on two levels-- one, I took my 9yo to see this, just her and me, when she had a day off school last week. We were just about the only people in the theater and at one point she climbed in my lap. I held her close and thought about how this very well may be the last time I hold one of my kids in my lap while we watch a movie. All too soon she will be too old and too cool for such things. So I enjoyed this moment when she wasn't.

On another level, I found this movie to be a perfect example of what I teach when I teach story to high schoolers. So many of the elements of story that I point to are so clearly indicated in this movie. It'll be a great example in future classes. And a bonus, I heart Meryl Streep.

This workout my 20 year old daughter has been doing. Not one to be shown up by a child of mine, I started doing it too. It looks so little and innocent but do NOT let it deceive you. You will feel it tomorrow. I do that and this ten minute arm workout every morning as part of my new 2015 morning routine, which I hope to post more about next week. 

So that's what's been working for me this week-- what's working for you?? It's so nice to think about what worked instead of bemoaning what didn't.

(I linked this post to and her "What's Saving My Life Right Now" linkup)
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Mary Lou said...

I LOVE these What Works for Me posts. I'm not a writer and probably never will be, but I'm a freak over pens. Can't wait to try out the Uniball. I also plan to try the workouts.
Keep sharing what works for you! Blessings!

Marybeth Whalen said...

So glad you are enjoying them Mary Lou! I enjoy thinking them up each week.

And do try those pens. I found mine at Target. They write so smoohtly. I'm a pen freak too. :)