Raw Literature: Writer Unplugged

So I’m forcing myself to get over my Guestapostophobia. Facing my fear. Writing guest posts.

I’m happy to have a post up at Carrot Ranch, a supportive community of flashers (erm…people who write flash), hosted by the ever-encouraging Charli Mills. Check out my post about how letting go and just writing can produce a powerful, genuine story.

Carrot Ranch Communications

Essay by Sarah Brentyn, a member of the Congress of Rough Writers.

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I’m in awe of “raw”.

This tiny three-letter word is like a super hero. I’m a word nerd and I love that this petite power house can describe so many items, objects, and states. We use it to talk about food (uncooked), the weather (cold and damp), skin (red and sore), emotions (intense and unrestrained), fabric (unfinished, unhemmed)…

My favorite definition, from the depths of Google’s dictionary, is of “a material or substance”: in its natural state; not yet processed or purified. It also provided some marvelous synonyms: unrefined, untreated, natural, unedited… That, to me, is raw literature.

And that is all I write.

I’ve been scribbling stories since I was nine years old. Probably younger, but that’s when I remember completing my first fictional tale. Have I moved beyond that? Of…

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Vernal Equinox: Spring in My Step

 

Today is the first day of spring. The Vernal Equinox.

 

Spring Equinox sprout Sarah Brentyn - sig

 

I had this really cool post planned. It was introspective and thought-provoking.

It was full of serious talk and thinking stuff.

Instead, I wound up with this barrel full of monkeys. Because that’s what my brain feels like.

I finally fell asleep around 4 am last night. So, I’m working on about 3+ hours of sleep. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I need eight.

Where was I?

Right. The post mentioned all the wonderful things I was going to do today.

I had plans to pause, enjoy nature, seek balance, embrace something new. Pretty much none of that happened. (Unless you consider exhaustion-induced zone-outs “pausing”.)

I will copy two lines from the post:

It is a time of beginnings.

It is a time of balance.

The Vernal Equinox is, indeed, both of those things. Spring is a time of new beginnings and the Equinox a time of balance. I wanted to embrace these.

I didn’t.

You know those days you walk into a room and forget why you went in there? Or you open the fridge seven times because you forget what you were looking for? Yes. It was one of those days—all day.

No fresh starts or balancing for me today. I ruined it.

Or did I?

Because, I used this opportunity to not do things. Such as beating myself up for not posting this morning, not reading other blogs, and not getting to my own blog comments.

Also, I didn’t get angry at myself for not living that perfect day I planned.

For me, that’s one hell of a fresh start.

As far as balance? I accepted that, along with the light, joyous pieces of me, there are dark, upsetting ones.

I’m human. I’m whole.

There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m going to just put it out there and say if you’re all sunshine and no shadows, you’re probably pretty boring. Or lying. Which might make you slightly more interesting but certainly not any more likable.

So I didn’t have a beautiful first day of spring. But I did have one more day on this earth. And I learned a few things while I was here. (One of them being that I can go a whole day without beating myself up about anything. And I’m counting that as a win.)

 

My Sunday thoughts in a sleep-deprived ramble of nowhere near 200 words.

ThoughtBubble

 

What happens when you plan a day and it falls short of your expectations? Do you give up? Beat yourself up? Move on? (Or a combination?)

 

Happy Spring! (And, to my friends in Australia, Happy Autumn!)

 

Be Free… Write

 

You can’t write. The words are gone. Your muse is AWOL.

 

Freewriting - sig

 

I posted about struggling to find the words for a special occasion but this is an ordinary day. In the wicked world of a writer. The weather shifts and… A sudden freeze. Or a prolonged drought. These things can go either way.

However you got here, you’re here.

You’re about to crawl into the corner and cry or have a panic attack. (Again, these things can go either way.)

We all know enough to get up, stretch, breathe, move… But when we sit down again, we must write.

Something silly.

Like haiku.* It’s a fun break. Also, I really think the counting of syllables helps me. Kind of like rubbing a worry stone.

I can’t write a word
Am I sad or pissed? Don’t know!
I’ll write a haiku

Or whatever. You get the idea.

Six words stories are fun, too:

Aliens dissect humans. Discover no heart.

Dieting = refusing pizza, eating chocolate cake

I can’t write a bloody word!

I’m stuck. In the muck. Oh…

But free-writing is the absolute best. You can free-write your way out of just about anything. Like a literary MacGyver. Be Free… Write.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

Free-writing is a powerful force. No thinking, no stopping, no correcting, just writing. May the Force be with you.

Have you ever tried haiku? Six word stories? Free-writing? What works to get you unstuck? Who caught that “Six words stories are fun, too” was 6 words? Smarty pants. 

* No haikus were hurt in the writing of this post. Also, I don’t find haiku humorous (in general) and I’m not downplaying the beauty of a well-written haiku or the poets who write them.