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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Marianne Williamson and Linda Della Donna's Writing Journey

The difficulty of the journey sometimes turns out to be its blessing.

--Marianne Williamson

I am on vacation. Away from my writing desk, the one placed strategically against a mirrored wall to keep me focused on the task at hand--fulfilling my promise to my husband to write a book.

Chapter 8 is done. It wasn't easy to write this chapter. See, it is a scene at the cemetery where I buried Ed. It has taken me several weeks to get this scene in my head. I needed to write several drafts. I wasn't sure how to put into words the visions that lit my brain and came to life as the cantor prayed Mourner's Kaddish.

But it's done. It's typed. It's saved. In celebration, I returned from the hotel cafe', grabbed a sand chair, and headed out to the beach. I packed a ham and cheese sandwich slathered in mustard, my present read, "The Prince of Nantucket," by Jan Goldstein, and a fluffy towel to rest my head. Basking in a Florida sun, I contemplated my next chapter.

I need to flesh out in my head what it is I need to write about before I actually put pen to paper. I have discovered there is a beat to writing my book. That is, I must spend time reflecting. I take a slow walk. I think about something else. I make a mental list of ten things I see as I take my walk. After a time, I sit down to write. I set a timer for twenty minutes. I say, "Go!" I let my percolated mind take over. I don't cross out. I don't go back and put in commas or periods. I shut off the personal editor and simply write. I leave the polishing for later. Oh yes, and if I find I get stuck, I simply begin again on another line with the first words of the first sentence I wrote. I begin with the truest statement I know and just let the pen zip across the page.

It works for me. How about you?

Linda Della Donna
...And sometime when I wasn't looking, I got a new life.

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