Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday - 37000 words

Some days writing is like trying to draw blood from a stone. Other days words flow like a waterfall down a mountainside. But it doesn't matter. All that matters is that I get those words down on paper in what Annie Lamott, in Bird by Bird, refers to as a shitty first draft. Then the magic begins. Except it already has. As soon as I chose to listen to the voice which came me in the magic of Ireland and Scotland. Then comes the magic of revision. Then the magic of editing. Once I know the story, I can make it work. Right now I don't need to worry how good it is. It isn't. I don't need to worry about what's going to happen with it when I'm done. I haven't a clue. All I need to do is get down that shitty first draft.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

17 comments:

Yvonne Lewis said...

I went through a stage of no inspiration due to problems but once I put my positive mind to it the inspiration returned.

Yvonne.

Manzanita said...

I guess you just have to keep moving the fingers and like Rapunzil, they will reward you with gold. (Well, at least a cheap bronze)

L.G. Smith said...

Yeah, a lot of days I feel like I'm working in the wilderness. Not really sure if what I'm writing is working or not until I get some feedback from someone not lost in the thick of it with me.

Suze said...

You're doing it, Karen. I know you're going to go all the way because you have an inner tenacity and persistence and wherewithal that's going to get you where you want to go.

Tonja said...

I'm almost at 43,000 and am feeling pretty much the same way. I'm trying to tell myself it's not shitty exactly, but it's definitely going to need some work. I've been keeping a separate document (an issue log) where I note the things I want to change or need to research so I won't forget later.

I bet we'll finish our first drafts at about the same time. :)

Morgan said...

You SO have the right perspective, Karen. Just keep working! I'm excited for you!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just write, Karen!!!

Trisha said...

I totally agree with you here - it's my philosophy with writing as well. I am very good at getting quick and shitty first drafts down. My problem comes with the editing part. Not that I don't love it...I just don't do enough of it! i.e. I have too many rough drafts still lingering. ;)

Jemi Fraser said...

I love, love, LOVE the freedom of the 1st draft! Enjoy every crappy phrase and word and moment - it'll all shine in the end!! :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Yep, one step at a time, one word at a time. Some good, some not so good, but we've gotta keep them coming. Plod, plod, plod... but you're right. It IS magic... so the plod feels more like a dance step.

Karen Walker said...

I so love this writing/blogging community. I am so isolated in my home with my own thoughts and processes. Most of my friends still work outside the home. Thank you, guys.
karen

Stephen Tremp said...

Wabi Sabi is my word for the day. And thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

Arlee Bird said...

Yeah, first drafts. I need a few of those. If I ever publish a memoir I should call it "Bird by Bird"--what a great title that would be for me. Hey, Lamott, give it back!

I linked to one of your older posts today.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Jack said...

AYE! I needed this reminder. I'm working on one of those books which I can't seem to get the first draft out. I know if I do it will go better from there. Even if it is horrid, I have to get it down.

Vicki Rocho said...

Can you email that to me every morning?

So true, but I have trouble remembering it!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I know what you mean, Karen. I have 15,000 words to write to complete my sfd -- and I will do a little happy dance before starting revisions. Such fun.

jaybird said...

This makes me feel better- because my entire computer is full of shitty first drafts!! LOL