Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Totally Random Thoughts

Ah, my brain is fried. I have no energy left to put several coherent sentences together let alone write a thoughtful or creative post. I do, however, have several incoherent thoughts running through my mind so I thought I'd waste the space and put them here.

1. Nathan Bransford had an interesting post on whether writing is nature or nurture. Actually, he didn't write anything. He pretty much just left it open to the public to decide in the comments section, which is what I suspect he does when he is flooded with work. I didn't write in... I always pass when the comment count is over 40 because I figure at that point no one is reading anymore anyway, and really, there are only two choices, three if you go with both, and that's pretty much covered by the third comment.

But, as it turns out, I have my own blog, so I can write here. And I disagree with all those people who say great writing can be taught. There it is. I put it out there. Me, a former English teacher, am saying it can't be taught. Sure, you can teach someone the technical aspects of writing: the vocabulary, the grammar, the sentence structure. You can teach someone the tips to get published: dump those adjectives and adverbs. You can teach three act structure, rising action, climax, denoument and falling action. But in the end, what you've got is passable writing. Great writing, dare I say, publishing worthy writing, is something inherent. Either you've got it or you don't. And if you don't, you can't always tell.

And yes, I wonder sometimes which category I fit in.

2. Totally non-writing subject, but my foot, which I injured back in September, is finally feeling 100%. For eleven months I couldn't walk without limping, and, per doctor's instructions, kept it restricted in running shoes every moment I was awake. This wasn't a problem, because a running shoe was the only thing keeping me from chopping the thing off. The only time it wasn't killing me was in a good shoe. And now that it's feeling better, my foot has claustrophobia. I put my shoe on and ten minutes later I feel like I am going to go crazy if I can't get it off. It's the weirdest thing ever!

3. The closer I get to finishing the book, the harder it is to put it down. It's always been like that reading. It's like that now writing. I shoo away the kids. I get dinner going late. I stay up all night, which is the only time there isn't someone talking in my ear and pulling me in other directions. I got over the scary part. I think it turned out okay. And I am pushing on. I'm almost done. Not just with the word a thon but with the book. And I think I'm really excited about it.

4. I had more random thoughts and in the writing of this post, they disappeared.

5. As has my grip on reality.

Today's word count: a record breaking 3,070

Total so far in word a thon: 40,015

Percentage done with 9 days left to go: 80%


  1. Ah reality... it's so subjective. who cares!

    I agree with you on the first point.

    And I know the feeling on the third point. I'm really looking forward to getting there again. I'm just having faith that I will get there with this project!

    Get some sleep! Maybe fire up the old electronic babysitter and put a movie on for the younguns.

  2. I agree with the first part and you definitely are a naturally gifted writer. Don't ever doubt that.

    Glad the foot is better.

    I can't wait to get to that point on my book. I get manage to get quite a few words in AND some research - so that's very cool.

    4 & 5 = LOL. I had to laugh.

    Congrats on the record-breaking word count!

  3. I agree with you on the nature vs nurture. Technicalities can be taught, but the rest? On your point 3, sounds like you're in that frenzy state, where time loses all meaning as writing takes over!! Hang in there ...