I have neglected you, blog and blog readers. My brain has been deconstructing and considering, applying (aka working), and (hopefully) integrating the wealth of knowledge regarding all things writing I accumulated at Odyssey Writing Workshop. The inestimable Jeanne Cavelos and my wonderful classmates, my Odfellows, taught me more than I imagined possible.
Thanks to all those wonderful people I have solidified and accepted that writing is of highest priority. I have also learned that submitting is a part of that process called writing. = I write, no matter what. I submit work, no matter what. And then I write some more.
I brought back this stack of papers, plus all the critiques and journal entries on my computer, plus the ephemerals kept in my brain.
That’s what I’ve been processing, and will continue to process for, I’d guess, at least the next year.
Which is why I haven’t written on this blog. One of Odfellows, the author J.W. Alden, wrote an excellent post, Growth: The Odyssey Debriefing in which he describes the amazing, supportive environment that Jeanne and our fellow classmates created. The amount of information on the craft of writing, and the specific feedback on our own writing, and the information on the process of writing and how unique that is for everyone. . . all of it great, and all of it needing to be processed. My brain is full.
As I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in my library writing and reading and writing some more. Let me tell you–chipmunks are the loudest *@!% critters! Oh. My. God. One lives in the backyard and every single morning it cheep cheep chirp chips away outside my window. Here’s the little . . . LOUD. INCESSANT. LOUD. Did I mention they’re loud, because they are.
Here are some other, less loud things to be found in the yard:
I’ll keep the blog updated with progress reports on my writing, submitting, and the acceptances when they arrive. When I read a good book, I’ll let you know. When I epiphanize, I’ll try to convert those thoughts into words and share. And I’ll let you all know how much noise that one little chipmunk can emit. (A lot.) But my priority will be writing, revising, giving and receiving critiques with my Odfellows, and submitting.
Thus, back to my writing I go.
[added 9 August]
On her blog, Everyday Magic, M.E. Garber recently wrote about post-workshop writer’s block and the difficulty with integrating new information into our writing.
And, yes, it happens. I know because I’m in the throws of it myself. Here’s my response to that phenomenon:
“Yay for amazing workshops and learning! Argh to the process of internalizing and applying what we learn. That’s the rough and tumble part learning. What too few people tell us is that learning is an act, meaning we must be *active* participants, and as anyone who has ever worked on a farm or in the garden, or who has cleaned the house and cooked Thanksgiving dinner, or who has framed a house knows, actively learning, internalizing, and applying information is hard work! So too with writing.
I’m back from Odyssey two weeks now and I am beginning to quiet my internal editor who through the six weeks of Odyssey has gained way too much power and knowledge for her own good (okay, not really, it’s just that she’s quicker to pick up the info than my internal writer is at applying that same information). Now is the time for my writer to flex some muscle and work through that information. Editor needs to step back and not hamper writer’s progress!
OMG, yes–the trouble of describing emotions of a character without writing about her damned eyes! There is much too much blinking and flashing of eyes going on
Best of luck integrating information and transforming it into knowledge! Tell your internal editor she can take a vacation until the drafts are done and then she can have it, constructively of course or she gets kicked out.”