Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 2, #reverb10 reflections

Today's prompt is: what do you do that keeps you from writing and can you change it? I write other things than the "serious" stuff, like two blogs, the reverb thing itself, and I've been writing 750 words each morning on another site and the One Minute Writer on another with prompts -- which do not always click. I write a lot -- letters and short stories from prompts too, occasionally poems. This week I'm helping proof read prose and poetry for a publication from the Academy of Lifelong Learning and realizing that what people learned in about the 6th grade about commas and other punctuation and about sentence and paragraph structure has largely been forgotten by the time they are over 50 and eligible for this program. Typos are fairly rare, misspellings are even rarer, thanks to the wonders of computers that signal when a word is misspelled.

Self-editing should happen in rewriting. I think a fair percentage of people do not rewrite before submitting something to this particular publication, they probably make a stab at self-editing but have forgotten most of the rules about punctuation, and possibly trust that someone else will fix it.

Both self-editing and rewriting are difficult even when you know the rules and have been conscientiously punctuating writing all your life. Both, I think are a part of writing and so are the letters, blogs and even the emails. When words are addressed to others in a non-verbal way, it's writing, it's grist for the mill and sometimes practice like playing scales on the piano. Grist is most of what we do, especially the contemplative periods. However the most active periods are likely to become even more important -- that after all is the part of living that feeds all the rest. That is why we older people actually have more to say than the younger people.

In the last few days I have received by email two pieces of writing from young women. Both were genre writing, one about witchcraft, the other a "thriller" but with an overlayer of the esoteric. It seemed to me neither writer had a firm grounding in real life, possibly they rejected character development or "real" story as too uninteresting to write about -- and perhaps it has been, as they perceive it at this point in their lives. I feel both frustrated that young women retreat into an unreal world and a sense of gratitude that I don't think I was ever in that mental state and certainly feel grounded when I write anything today.


Kass said...

That's a good point. Grounding does ground a person. The right kind, that is.

June Calender said...

Kass, you might not have time right now, but this #reveb10 site might be something I'd like to do during December. Google it for details.