Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just Show Up

I spent a few days this week away. My own private writer's retreat. Worked on some poems for the Southern Breeze Poetry Workshop in June. Roughed out a proposal for a second devo book for my publisher in Scotland. Then finally forced myself to sit down and work on the elephant in the room. The WIP that desperately needs finishing. I've only rewritten the darn thing five or six times already. Tried picture book format, tried third person narration, tried first person narration. Tried present tense instead of past. Chunked it all and started over as straight nonfiction. Finally found my stride. It feels right. That's a good feeling.

I kept telling myself, "You just have to show up. Sit down and write, and eventually you'll figure it out."

Just show up. I can't remember which prolific writer said that was the secret to his success. Someone we would probably all recognize.

So, I'm trying to show up. And perhaps seeing some progress.

And learning that music "does" help with the creative process. I never was allowed to have music playing when I did homework, so I never learned to work with noise in the background. My totally awesome critique partner burned me a CD of opera. And lo and behold, I can work with music in the background if I can't understand the words. I discovered that Gregorian chants work pretty well, too.


  1. Yay for showing up! I'm so happy to hear your progress, Doraine. I read an article once that said listening to chopin's nocturnes would improve rhythm and such when writing poetry. I tried it, and I loved how it made me feel! Haven't done that in a while. Thanks for the reminder. And good luck with your revision!

  2. Mm. I'll have to try Chopin. Thanks for the good wishes, Irene. I'm looking forward to seeing you next month.

  3. Hmm- I tried to post and it didn't let me! I'll try again! YAYE on SHOWING UP! Totally needed to hear this today.

    Music: I have found that I can work with lyrics I understand in the background --but they must be completely familliar to me. So familiar, that they are evocative and not distracting. It's weird - but in the middle of a project, I'll often find that my "tone" soundtrack songs have lost their "oomph" and it is now time to get new soundtrack songs. What I have to do then is audition and thoroughly familiarize myself to the songs/lyrics before writing to them (usually I do this while driving. Not writing, familiarizing). It works for me. I actually have three different CDs of BULLET music. Believe it.

    Can't wait till we get together!

    ps: i was only allowed to study to mozart and beethoven. To this day if I'm having trouble concentrating, I pop a little Amadeus and I'm covered.

    pss: For my period-piece-play, I have burned out completely on my cds. Ugh. Last time I worked on it I ended up online at some jukebox sites - listened to JAZZ VAMPIRE umpteen times in a row. LOL!