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Thursday, October 22, 2009
The best and strangest day
Shoes. This will all make sense soon.
I am having the best and strangest day, seriously. First off, I'm still a human as far as HvZ goes (well, and as far as being human goes, as well). No kills as of yet, but there are 430+ people playing and only 20+ zombies. I also feel like someone spent all last night trying to tear my legs off, because running around campus for all hours of the night makes me very sore. I'm out of shape. It's a beautiful fall day here, and I'm hoping it will be warm-ish again tonight.
On another note, a more footwear related I note, I won a beautiful pair of shoes! I'm not sure how many of you read A Cup of Jo, but I suggest you start reading her stuff yesterday. She's awesome -I do most of my blog reading in the morning before I go to class, and ACoJ is always a nice way to start out the day (generally with a cup of Joe in hand as well). Every Wednesday she does a giveaway of some really nice products, too, and I just so happened to win this Wednesday's. Since I'm a Shoemaker by name and a shoe lover by nature, I fell in love with the shoes on sight and I'm unbelievably excited to wear them around campus once they get here!
I wanted to write a little bit about the act of writing. Why I do it, why you do it, why it matters, etc.
In all honesty, the best piece of writing advice I've ever received was pretty simple: "You want to write? Shut up and write." I couldn't tell you who said it, but that statement hits me over the head like a frying pan every time I start thinking I have writer's block, or I'm too busy to write, or blah blah blah excuses. None of that -you want to write? Sit down, shut up and put words on a page.
Granted, there is so much more to writing than the actual act of it -the more I learn about writing both as an industry and as a craft (which requires patience, work and training) the more I realize I have been charging into the writing world with blinders on. It's a very, very intricate place to be in, and I love it.
Why do you write? Tell me in the comments if you do, in fact, write. If you don't, tell me why not.
I write because I cannot not write. If I didn't write, I would wither up and blow away- a useless and uninteresting husk of a person. Books and words and writing are more vital to me than caffeine. Writing is my center. It also keeps me caffeinated and in school so I can continue learning about writing. (And I should probably just shut up and write.)
Writing is awesome, in whatever form it takes -bad, good, transcendent, puerile -it all has its value. Right now, for Leaves & Flowers, I'm typing up the writing of a group of seventh and eighth grade competitive writers. And I'll be honest, some of it's not that great. It's at or about what I would expect, as a professional writer and creative writing major, but it's nonetheless surprising to me in that I don't remember my writing being bad in the ways this writing is bad (and I mean no disrespect to these kids; they've poured their hearts into these pieces for me, and I love it -as bad as the writing is, it has so much potential).
What I mean is that I don't remember using "feeled" when I meant "felt," and I don't remember starting every sentence but 3 in a two-page story with the word "I." The writing is rough beyond what I expected, but it's also candid in a way that I like. There's not a lot of coy wordplay going on; everything is on the surface. After one or two paragraphs I'm craving some subterfuge on the part of the writer, but there's something nicely disarming about young writers.
It was amazing to me, last night as I sat editing a few pieces (before I went to run around campus carrying a bright orange plastic gun and hunt zombies -take everything I saw with the requisite salt here) that my own writing could have, at one point, very closely resembled the pieces I had before me. I forget sometimes just how much we have to grow as writers -as our vocabularies mature, so does our writing. As we mature, so does our writing. Granted, much of that maturation needs to be self-made, but look at where it can take go once that is done.
One of these kids might write the next great American novel, or one of them might write something in Sharpie on a bathroom wall that gives someone pause and makes them think for a moment, but whatever it is that's done with writing, it's more important than we know.
This turned into more of a paean to writing than I had intended, but hey -it's true. Writing is culturally significant no matter who you are or what you do; language and words will infiltrate every part of your life. Is that positive or negative? Does it matter? It is what it is. Make it what you want. What better reason could there be to write?
/philosophical rant ;)