Friday, July 14, 2006
Writing Getaway, Day 2
Holiday World is not very merry in a relentless downpour. Hotel rooms are not quiet when yours adjoins one containing three 13 year-old girls. Husbands are distracting when they sing while you’re writing. Some writers get cranky without chocolate—all are observations I’ve made on Day 2 of my writing getaway.
None of our party needs to go to the water park today to have some splashing fun. They could just go stand in the parking lot and get drenched in the nonstop rain, which would be way less expensive than water park tickets, except that we can’t get a refund for the four we’ve already purchased.
Occasionally, shouts of “Uno!” from the adjoining room startle me, and I have to re-focus.
Plan B is a movie. They’ve decided to re-see “Pirates.” I stayed here to write, but first I ate a few of their “Pirates” gummy snacks that I bought for this trip, so I’m sort of participating in Plan B, in a way.
I started another book called, “If You Can Talk, You Can Write,” which I challenge. Frankenstein’s monster spoke, but I doubt he could have articulated his angst on paper. Sponge Bob Square Pants is loquacious, but there’s an episode devoted to how writer’s block tortured him when he was assigned a classroom essay.
Basically, as in all writing advice books, the author repeats, “You must write,” with the questionable and only slightly encouraging addendum, “if you can talk, that is.”
Here’s my problem. I can talk, type and tie sentences together like a rodeo cowboy roping a calf. What I’m lacking is an interesting, meaningful topic. I don’t want to slay a dragon and save the world; all I need is a tiny little calf, and I’ll giftwrap him so
purty . . . .
The second mantra of experts is, “Re-write everything.” I tend to re-write as I go, which is apparently wrong. I don’t usually re-write more than three times. I wonder how much re-writing others do? One goal I have is to see if I can edit my writing to around 500 words, which is appropriate for my venue. If a memoir/essay writer can’t focus and spit out an opinion in around 500 words, he’s rambling.
In conclusion, I don’t know how productive this trip has been. It’s not over yet, but I can see the general flow of things, and it’s not looking good.
Let me re-write that: This writing venture may not prove successful. There’s still time, but if what I’ve already produced is indicative, I should have stayed home.
Let me re-state that: Finally, I still have 24 hours left in my getaway. Maybe a sudden inspiration will tweak my creativity and I’ll feel vindicated for abandoning work, kids and dog to write. If so, I won’t begrudge the slow start. (476 words, including both re-writes!)