Perpetual Homework

There’s a quote I’ve seen floating around on the internet that goes like this:

“Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.” – Lawrence Kasdan

 

I tried to find the source of this quote and couldn’t, but even if Mr. Kasdan didn’t say this, someone certainly should, because it’s very true.

I was out of town this last weekend to celebrate the holiday with some family, and while I didn’t touch a laptop or even a notebook (bad writer girl, bad!) my work as a writer was still following me around.

On our five hour drive through the desert, my husband had to/got to hear about a new novel idea I’ve been tossing around.

When I had a minute one evening I searched Pinterest for reference pictures to help me describe my character’s clothing in a pivotal scene.

Standing amongst a bunch of people on a street to catch a glimpse of fireworks I was taking mental notes about the interactions of strangers for when I write crowd scenes.

And, well, I was thinking about what my next blog post might be.

But while not being able to walk away from your work might sound like a bad thing – to me it’s a blessing.  There’s something useful to learn from every situation, somewhere interesting to send my mind when I’m bored or stressed, and had I wanted to be disciplined, all I need to work is the wonderfully portable combo of pen and paper.

So here’s to taking your writer’s work home….and on the road…and everywhere and anywhere you want it to go.

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Writer Confessions: There, their, they’re – we’re all human.

I have a confession to make – I may be a writer, but I make grammar and punctuation mistakes – frequently.  And you know what?  Most of the time, it’s not a big deal.

Now before my excellent high school English teachers come out of the woodwork to beat me over the head with a dictionary I want to clarify that I’m not saying grammar and punctuation aren’t important.  They are – to write clearly and effectively you need to know the basic rules of spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

But I also think if people, and especially me, get too hung up on perfecting their comma usage (one of the things I am particularly bad at) they might forget that the point of language is to communicate with other human beings.  Yes, I cringe when I find a typo in something I’ve posted – but I also know that if I think too hard about the lack of perfection in my writing I get too scared to post anything at all- and that defeats the whole purpose of writing a blog in the first place.

So yeah I’m going to confuse their, they’re, and there.  I’m going to drop the Oxford comma on occasion.  And I love starting sentences with conjunctions and using slang – that’s not even an accident, I just like writing that way.

We should all be thankful for spellcheck and copy editors, and try our best to keep our text as shiny and weed free as possible – but more importantly we should just keep writing.

Why I Write – Part II

I love words.

I love short words, and long words, and noisy words, and quiet words.

I’m the little girl who always read the back of the cereal box at the breakfast table.  The woman who uses the “define” search in Google several times a week because I want to know exactly what a word means or where it came from.  The writer who gets a little crazy trying to think up the right name for a character, because names and words have power.

I’m the person who was excited for a week when I found out about the word “numinous” – because it’s always a thrill to find out there’s a word that perfectly describes something you have felt.

So I write because there’s no better way to play with my favorite toys – words.