"I remember sitting after a concert in the New French Bar in downtown Minneapolis with a writing friend and telling her about how I became a Buddhist. Because of the intensity of her listening, the story, which I had told many times, took on a great brilliance. I remember the light off the wineglass, the taste of my chocolate mousse. I knew then that I had to write the story--there was great material in it...
Talk is a way to warm up for the big game--the hours you write alone with your pen and notebook. Make a list of all the stories you have told over and over. That's a lot of writing to be done."
|photo by tianarenae3|
This came to mind recently when I was telling a colleague about a troublesome phase my daughter went through fifteen years ago. The "phase" lasted for many years. In fact, I would often joke and say, "She's got her head so far up her butt, she...," and when she started making some sensible choices on the occasional basis, I'd say,"Once in a while, she sees something other than brown." (Now my daughter has grown into becoming the best mother I've ever seen; I'm proud of her for hundreds of reasons.)
After I finished telling the story, my friend said, "I"ve got goosebumps. That's quite a moving story."
I've told this particular story countless times. But this one person's reaction made me examine my story with new eyes. Deciding that it was indeed a story worth writing down, I clicked away on my laptop, revised it, then submitted it. Since it was in late December when I sent it off, I'm still waiting for a response...
Who do you get together with so you can gossip and laugh and bring stories to life? Who do you warm up with, in preparation for the lonely task of writing?