Robin Hawke


Take the Legs off Flies, Blog Awards, and Writing

I promptly forget something the minute I write it down. I looked at one of my many to-do lists and discovered Take legs off flies. It took a long while before I realized this note was a reference to the insects that fly across my blog. Since they’ve flown for six months without incident, they can wait to have their legs removed.

Graced with two blog awards this week, I can’t wait any longer to convey my appreciation, or to accept and pass them along.

I received the Liebster Award from Woman Wielding Words. Lisa has been a familiar presence on my blog, encouraging me with her support and frequent visits. Because we met through a writing challenge, I’m passing the award to blogs that offer weekly challenges. These are busy people; I don’t expect them to pick up the award, but offer these names up as sites for creative growth: Julia’s 100 Word Challenge, Inspiration Monday, Velvet Verbosity, Madison Woods, and The Writing Reader. Join in, you’ll be glad you did.

Mushy Cloud passed me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Pam has been following my blog a mere three weeks. To honor her presence, I pass this award to my most recent followers: Feliza Casano, My Words Whisper, Zombie Chimp, Kaye McCormick, Write a Book With Me.

Now that I’ve chased the newcomers off with the blogging equivalent of a chain letter (please stay), here are the pesky rules:

Liebster Rules

  1. Thank the blogger that gave you the award AND create a link back to their blog.
  2. Leave a comment on the blogs you have chosen.
  3. Post the award on your own blog.

Kreative Blogger Rules

  1. Thank the blogger that gave you the award AND create a link back to their blog.
  2. Leave a comment on the blogs you have chosen.
  3. Post the award on your own blog.
  4. Share something about yourself.

It is time for me to share more than a short story. Prepare, this may be the longest post I ever write!

Every second of every life is a story. It has a past, present and future. While many writers awe us with unique situations and fertile imagination, I try to settle plain moments into a context that lifts them out of ordinary but doesn’t necessarily make them extraordinary. I didn’t explain that well.

I believe there are no failed stories, just failed contexts. Anything can work, any idea, any choice of words. If the story isn’t working, communicating, we have to change the context. The context is: the idea before and after, the paragraph before and after, the sentence before and after, the word before and after. If the whole piece is subject to change, then aren’t I contradicting myself? No, even if I haven’t explained well.

I believe all creative offerings have value. Who are we if we think bad/good instead of discovering/sharing?

Yet, I often call my own work bad. Ahh, but I believe in plodding and pushing words around. See, I know my words won’t be bad if I can discover a successful context…

Only experience teaches. I know I can be wordy. I’ve been told. I loved, loved, loved adjectives when I wrote my first romance novella. I still love a simile. I’ve been told both adjectives and similes are weak. (Two passive sentences in one paragraph, when will I learn?)

If I don’t write words down, full of my love for them, then they can’t pass through my system to be examined. Eventually, after enough self-examination, I’ll plod up to a level of writing where I will love other words.

Every writer has an arc. We start simply, get complicated and then simplify. Right now, I embrace lots of commas and beautiful words and many phrases. At another developmental stage, I’ll have learned other complications. But I must allow myself to love my own words, even excruciatingly bad adjectives. If I dismiss adjectives, because I’ve been told, I’ll never discover how an adjective should be used, when it is the right word—given the context. By the way, if you didn’t laugh as you read excruciatingly, I did.

Tell me adjectives signal bad writing and I’ll tell you they are a sign of a maturing writer. Read past them, find what lies underneath their context. Is that worth your while? If we value tolerance, it is. I don’t think growth is possible without tolerance.

I’ve challenged myself to write two stories a day. One is six words; one has three sentences. If I plan to keep up, I can’t wait for perfection. I have to let myself stumble without worrying whether someone is watching. If you’ve been watching, you’ve seen me fall down. You’ve also helped me get up and continue my word by word progress. Thank you for your tolerance. For example, this writing needs healthy revision, but I need to cross this post off my list to do. And take legs off flies.

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11 Comments so far
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I think I’ve decided I hate rules. “Don’t use adjectives.” “Don’t use similes.” Too many commas . . .Active vs. passive. Show don’t tell. Yada, yada, yada. When I think about the rules, I cripple myself. When I just let words come, I discover things. I may not be the worlds best writer. I may never achieve my writing goals. But if I don’t write, I’ll never know, will I?

Comment by Lisa Wields Words

The writing teaches us better than the rules do; keep writing, Robin

Comment by Robin Hawke

A wonderful post, first of all laugh out loud, I couldn’t read the rest without going to study your flies and their legs first and then wondering if that might make them kind of like butterflies 🙂 and so know that feeling of looking at a to do note and going “what?” and even looking to see if it was really me who wrote it.

I love your sharing of your writing development and observations, you will be rewarded by your perseverance, you are already I am sure, hindsight is a wonderful thing, we just have to persevere to that place where we can see it.

Comment by ClaireMcA

I may have given myself some extra time to take the legs off…certainly can’t take them off when people might be looking for them, LOL, Robin

Comment by Robin Hawke

[…] one is not so easy, and I wouldn’t be able to compete with the fantastic words written by Robin. So instead I trawled the net for an ‘interesting things about me’ questionnaire and […]

Pingback by Kreativ Blogger award and a few more things about me. |

Robin, you’re such an inspiration! Especially to someone like me who’s just getting started on her “writing for human consumption” journey. 🙂 I love adjectives. I also love long ambling sentences, when they make sense – when they’re well written. It’s comforting to know that I can “Question Authority” about some of the rules that the professionals put out.

Jeez, if I followed the rules, I’d probably never bother writing. LOL

I’m looking forward to reading your challenge! Maybe because I’m NaNo’ed out, or maybe because of the busyness of this time of year, I don’t seem to have much but short word spurts coming out. (yeah, that’s a technical term. Word Spurts.) Might try to get something together for Inspiration Monday (that was fun).

CONGRATULATIONS, btw, on all your awards!!! You deserve them!

Comment by Janece

Thank you.

Since NaNo, I’ve also had a problem with inspiration. And I’ve made so many typos when blogging. The permission to misspell during that process had after-effects. The permission to wring ourselves dry, well, that has taken a toll, too. So, December is ours to enjoy friends and family and to let ourselves collect the yarn of January’s stories.

In the meantime, sit and write a story. I’m following. It’s not January’s; it’s December’s.

Robin

Comment by Robin Hawke

[…] This one is not so easy, and I wouldn’t be able to compete with the fantastic words written by Robin. So instead I trawled the net for an ‘interesting things about me’ questionnaire and answered […]

Pingback by Kreativ Blogger Award. | PSHome Gazette

I love the idea of the arc. It’s so fitting – not just as we start writing, then enter another phase, and then another as we “learn” our craft.

At least for me, it’s also how my two in-progress novels have gone. They started simply. Then, as I learned more about the characters and places, the descriptions grew – and so did the number of scenes and “modifiers.” And then as I edit, and edit some more, the stories simplify again.

I don’t think that will ever change, no matter how many books I have in me. And that’s okay by me.

Looking forward to more of your posts.

Comment by jmmcdowell

Okay by me too! Welcome!

Comment by Robin Hawke

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. Can’t wait to trade stories.

🙂

Comment by paperwaster




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