July

July

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On Writing


One of the things I have always felt to be sadly deficient in has
been writing. I have always loved to write and my earliest
thoughts were that I wanted to be able to write the things
that could only be felt with the heart. I have loved words,
and when I was a kid I would sit and read the dictionary for fun.

When I started home schooling, I think God did it to show me
how much I did not know and I was in danger of loosing what I
did know. I think it is why He had me start at second grade.

One of the things I have loved to teach was dictation. I read once
that Jack London would go to the library in San Francisco to copy
out writers that he loved and in doing so he learned to write.

One of the things that bores me to tears and yes, it shows in the way I
write is grammar. I have not taught my kids this very well because
my brain goes into some kind of a black hole and I feel like if that
was the way I was going to teach writing nothing would ever
get written. Writing is like riding a bike, just get on and take off
if you fall well then you fall and get back on and keep at it
and then before long you have a sentence. Then a paragraph,
then a page and maybe if you keep at it long enough a story.

Some of my favorite books were stories that the author wrote as
a short story in a writing class. My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara.
Little Britches by Ralph Moody, The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.

Today I was looking through My Antonia by Willa Cather so I could
find a passage to dictate to my boys I ran across this in the forward.

"Willa Cather on Writing in 1895 essay entitiled "The demands
of Art." Cather makes a revealing statement about the vulnerabilty of the
artist. "When one comes to write," She says, "All that you have been taught leaves you,
all that you have stolen lies discovered. You are the translator,
without a lexicon, without notes...You have then to give voice
to the hearts of men, and you can do it only so far as you have known
them, loved them, It is a solemn and terrible thing to write a novel."

Sarah Orne Jewett wrote to Willa Cather in 1908 " You must find a quiet place,
you must find your own quiet center of life and write from that."

All of my life I have longed to write the things I see and the things I feel and
the quiet sound of the songs that live in my heart. I am like the artist who
longs to paint the beauty of their soul yet when she holds the brush in
her hands finds that her skill is such she can't draw the beauty she sees.

When I was a kid, I have always longed to draw and paint, but was told
over and over I did not have that skill. Well," no artistic ability whatsoever."
I believe now that was a curse, as it made me afraid to try.
When I became a mother I made it my ambition I would allow no one
to ever tell my children they could not do something like paint or draw or
climb to the highest tree, or make a movie or yes, write a story.

When my oldest daughter was a young girl, I remarked about not being
able to draw. She looked at me and said, " Mom, I can't really draw,
but I do draw because I work at it harder than most people, you could
do anything if you wanted if you wanted to work at it hard enough."

It stopped me in my tracks, I had become lazy and my excuses had
become my way of life.
That hardest thing is picking up the pencil or in my case
the hardest thing was to push the button that says, publish post.

When I sat down to write a post, the first thing it said,
was you have to take pictures. I did not take pictures.
My son so sweetly brought me his camera and showed me,
lightening bolt means turn the flash off. This funny squiggly
squiggly thing means you will get the close up but everything
else will be blurred in the background. Then my daughter showed
me flower was closeup. So I started taking pictures and
trying to write, everyday. All the while hoping no one
would find this and read what I wrote.

It took me six months to leave a comment on other sites
I loved. So every time I sit here and I share my thoughts,
and you read them, for me this is huge. I am so thankful still
every day for each one of you who takes their time to read
this stuff that I call writing and I hope you have a Wonderful
Wednesday and that I love you all.

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, for His wonderful works to the children of men!

(Psalm. 107:6)

11 comments:

  1. Well, girl, know that I pop in all the time!!

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  2. Keep writing and we'll keep reading!I have been writing since college. I love to write. I have taken classes and been to seminars and spent many years staring at white paper. Think now of the Jewitt quote on your post, a "quiet place". For years, I thought that meant "out of the way", or away from noise. I now know that there is a quiet that comes with maturity. It is a peacefulness that comes from knowing your Savior, knowing yourself, and not feeling that youthful rush of finding yourself. That is the quiet that one can write from, and it happens to come packaged with life experience.

    I feel sad when I hear that someone's parents would tell them they didn't have the talent for things. Yet, as a parent, I know that we do not want to set our kids up for a major disappointment. I encourage my girls and let them figure out the talent thing. My mom was so encouraging that I almost had an unreal sense of my capabilities. "Mom, I'm going to be an astronaut." "Wonderful, honey! Will you be doing brain surgery and modeling the latest fashions in Paris, before or after you go?" I could have used not only encouragement, but also focus!

    Remind me to tell you about the finished novels and other projects that I'm too chicken to send to publishers. Cluck-cluck-cluck-Chicken, I tell you! I'm into writing a new novel now. I started last spring, but summer put it on hold for a variety of reasons.Hubby sent me to a writing conference for my birthday earlier this year and I loved it. I hope to go again in 2011.

    At least having a blog satisfies some of my need to be creative with word and pictures. Words- Yes, I love them too! I used to curl up and read the dictionary as a kid too. :)

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  3. You have a wonderful warmth to your voice that comes through in your words. Keep sharing that voice and we'll keep reading!!!

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  4. Kim, I always love to read your blog . Keep up the nice work. When I read your blog I can feel your tenderness and warmth. You have a gentle soul. JB

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  5. Your writing has improved lots and lots since you've been doing your blog. I love reading people's thoughts about writing. It's my favorite topic. Or as Stephen King puts it: telepathy!

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  6. Well, as you are my favorite writer, well next to William and Megan, I take that as a huge compliment. :) I am glad you can see I have improved. I praise indeed.

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  7. This is just so wonderfully said...I can so relate. I also hate how the enemy comes in and tells us what we can't do! He is so afraid we won't listen to him that he repeats and repeats it. I have a post on "excuses" because that is what the Lord is dealing with our family on...your piece today confirms that.

    This is an encouragement to me to plow forward...as messy as it may be...keep my hands to the plow.

    Have you ever read "The Hawk and the Dove"? I think you would love it! Her use of words is just beautiful.

    Now I really need to go take a grammar lesson...by far the weakest subject in my home schooling. :) I am sure people just vomit over my grammar...oh, well!!

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  8. Kim, You have always blessed me with your writing, and it is a gift from God, not everyone can put their thoughts down, whether written on paper, or typed.
    I do feel and see your heart when you write, and your photos are always so beautiful. I am so glad that you listened to your heart, and continue let it shine forth.
    Much love,
    Sue

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  9. A beautiful post! I am so glad you started to write so that I could get to know you! Thank you for writing from your heart.

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  10. You are wonderful at sharing your heart, and that makes you a writer :-) Homeschooling has taught me so much too, and although I don't consider myself a writer, I sure have fun blogging. Btw, I think you know more about the camera than I do :-)
    Blessings~
    Marcia

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  11. Some of the things we hear as a child are etched on our souls. One only needs to look at the pictures you take to see that you have an eye and hand for beauty.

    Art education is an important feature of education that frequently is cut, when funds dry up. Uneducated people think of art as being able to draw like a camera... you are an artist and author. Authentic and worth reading!

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