“Write any old thing at first,” said my hero Brenda Ueland. “Be a lion! Be a pirate!” in your writing. Put anything on the paper to get the waters flowing and the mind inching along its little pathways.
She said too that you should picture someone who loves you listening as you talk.
I was the baby in my family, the amazing good news at the end of all that bad news, my mother abandoned, my father four states away and not coming back – and that was all before the real ugliness started. But then this baby got born at the end of that bad period and our whole houseful of five oldsters just melted. “Look, it’s a BABY!” they said to each other as if they were expecting maybe a mole. And then there was the added darlingness of my sister Nan who was also just a toddler and the next thing they knew they were all laughing at the dinner table again, same as always.
I really do just picture those kind faces when I sit down to write.
Or else I picture David who may love me too after all these years because why else would he keep shaking his head and saying “TT! Old TT!” as he did again the other day when he caught me picking cherry pits up off the floor with my toes.
I had my reasons:
“I’ve decided not to bend over more unless I’m paying someone to MAKE me bend over” I told him.
I meant in Hip-Hop Cardio and all those other dance classes I take at the Y.
“You want me to be in shape, right?” I added.
“I’ll show you in shape!” he says every time. “How ’bout you quit the Y, give ME the 60 bucks a month and I’ll beat you into shape?”
Who wouldn’t feel happy with someone like this in their life?
With writing, the real main thing is to stay calm and remember that you know how to do this. Just talk in your own voice.
I mean don’t you feel sorry for the young woman at the top? She’s bound to panic and freeze, panic and freeze; that’s what I think looking at this picture, since it appears to be a sort of term paper she’s working on.
If that’s the kind of writing you’re doing, here’s my advice:
Take notes on all those books on good big index cards, then set the books aside, deal the cards out on the floor and walk all round them until you figure out what order you want to put them in as you spin out your argument.
I have more tips but I’ll save them for the next time. Time to go do my pale imitation of Julia Stiles in Save the Last Dance at the good old YMCA.