Robin Hawke

Solitary Confinement
November 12, 2011, 3:59 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: , , , , ,

I can’t forgive myself for what I’ve written this month of November. I hang my head with shame.

If I maintain my current NaNoWriMo progress, my self-imposed confinement ends in four days. Escape is in sight, but my fingers are lethargic. Tempted to write 6,000 words today, to make a last effort to finish in two days, I resist because of my experiences with gorging. A few of my writing buddies envy my steady progress. I envy what they must be writing; their words must be better than mine.

I’ve looked inside, found the blank slate, rubbed it.  My words come because I chain myself to the computer, resist food and water and email. But I have nothing to say. I sit. I wait for words. I type.  I don’t stop. I don’t get up. I wait for words. The discipline trains me.

I grant I’m in training—but not to write better prose, or a better story.

I’m in training to last out blocks, to push past dumb, to lower expectations. It is a small window in a large cell. In four days I win my freedom, no longer an innocent.

Thinking of NaNoWriMo
October 31, 2011, 3:21 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags: , , , ,

All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one’s own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane.

—George Orwell

Evaluate Motives: NaNo is a jumpstart, the end draft a beginning place.

Goal for NaNo: Write clear glass prose.

Prep for NaNo: Gesso!

(I think I’m crazy, but I’m going to start a painting. I know I’ll need to incubate–if I paint, maybe stuff will move around in my head enough so that I can write another thousand words.)

A Hike
May 31, 2011, 3:22 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: ,

Why, when I’ve written for years, do I feel like I’m just beginning?

This beginning place is not foreign ground. I’ve stood here before. I know where the path in front of me leads.

But, the creek I ramble along is overflowing with last week’s rains and spring thaw. Rocks I’ve jumped on are submerged; the water is cold; the trail hasn’t been pruned. The distance I make is accompanied by doubt and scratches and not a few slips.

I know where the trail ends.

It ends in the promise of satisfaction and waterfalls of clean, clear prose. It ends in jubilation.