scgreene (scgreene) wrote in thru_the_booth,

A Writer's Summer Mantra

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I guess it's pretty much unanimous. Carrie said it most succinctly:

Go live.

When my son was little, I planned my work so that I'd be finished with whatever new manuscript I was working on by the end of school. Sent it off. Took the summer off and enjoyed Oliver's company.

At the risk of stating a cliche, they're gone in a minute.

Besides, I need deadlines. I impose them on myself. I know myself well enough to know that any story that isn't forcing its way out of me, demanding to be written, stumbling along in spite of all setbacks, is a story I don't really need to tell.

Not that deep down need. I'm not interested in the inauthentic.

I also believe in the idea of looking at something by not looking at it. Staring leads to madness.

Try this: Put the tips of your index fingers together in front of your face. Stare. What do you see?

A stumpy finger with two nails.

Stop staring.

Summer's are meant for all the things everyone has said here. Let me just add spying. Eavesdropping. Observing. If you have a house full of children, get your notebook and start jotting it all down. The annoying, the amazing, the touching, the hilarious. Especially the dialogue. I can still remember the summer day when I was cracking down on my really annoying eighth grader son by yelling up at him, "And change the sheets on your bed!"

Oliver yelled back: "Which ones are the sheets?"

It's in a book kids are reading today.

When they're back in school, you can start writing again.

Truly: go live. You never know what you may learn.

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