“Don’t just plan to write – write. it is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style” – P.D. James
Use your writer’s notebook, your diary, your computer and for 14, 20, 30 minutes, just write.
What if you were to write the moment – and not think about whether you are writing an essay, a chapter in a novel, a poem, or a story. It might well be a way into something old or something new – something that fits right into what you have been struggling with – or something entirely different that you hadn’t thought about before.
Let me do a dog’s leg zigzag here – and I think I have mentioned before Bernadette Mayer’s thoughts about journal ideas – and let’s say that I have a section in my Writer’s Notebook called: Weather.
Outside it is raining. Again. I think it has rained for over 8 days straight. I think about Noah. I think about building an ark. I think about who I might invite on my ark. After all, it’s mine, this ark I’m building out of balsa wood. I don’t know diddly about balsa wood. I just remember; I think I remember a story about a funeral home that burned up a man’s balsa leg when they cremated his body. His wife was fond of his balsa leg – how she removed it every night and strapped it on in the morning. It provoked a lawsuit. That’s another story: lawsuits!
But back to my ark. I won’t allow any politicians aboard. I will allow a dozen chocolate labs – and a vet to care for them. I will invite seven poets, but who? Come aboard Barbara Henning, Barry Marks, Janet Passelh, John Davis Jr, Lissa Kiernan, Michael Bassett, Maureen Alsop – all of whom have recently been published by Negative Capability Press. Joe Berry, come aboard. His “Too Late To Kill Me So” has just been released by NC Press. I am inviting a cook (any recommendations?). I’ve never been good at math – so I’m inviting the spirit of Einstein so I will know how many folks my ark might hold. Don’t want to sink before we’ve started.
I started with rain. What are the first seven words that come to mind? List them. And write your moment. It can be a play, a poem, a piece of flash fiction. Get set. Go!