Writing is Survival

Published August 13, 2012 by Elsa Pla

The new school year is quickly approaching, and there’s a ton of things I need to do. The luxury I’ve had of blogging Monday through Friday is over. From now on I intend to post on this blog only on Monday evenings. What I plan to do is present an exercise I’ll be working on during the week (and invite you to work on it, too), then share my attempt the following Monday, as well as introduce the next exercise.

I’ll be working on my middle school website/blog (www.writecook.com) and my Juvenile/YA book reviews (www.elsapla.wordpress.com) throughout the school year, and I’ll continue to post on my personal blog (www.catchabutterfly.wordpress.com) as well.

Here’s the schedule I intend to follow:

Sunday – Season of Butterflies blog

Monday – The Write Town blog

Tuesday – Thursday – Write Cook website/blog and writing projects

Friday – writing projects

Saturday – art projects

First week of the month – The Reading Café blog

The new schedule starts today.

The exercise I’ll be working on this week is the continuation of Friday’s exercise from Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury:

“I began to run through those lists, pick a noun, and then sit down to write a long prose-poem-essay on it.

“Somewhere along about the middle of the page, or perhaps the second page, the prose poem would turn into a story.”

This, then, is the new exercise:

Go through your list of titles, pick one, write a reflection piece on it, and see where the muse takes you. 

I’ll share my attempt next Monday. Join me!

I’ll end today’s post with a bit more wisdom from Ray:

“What, you ask, does writing teach us?

“First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. […]

“So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.

“Second, writing is survival. Any art, any good work, of course is that.

“Not to write, for many of us, is to die.

“We must take arms each and every day, perhaps knowing that the battle cannot be entirely won, but fight we must, if only a gentle bout. The smallest effort to win means, at the end of each day, a sort of victory.

[…] [And what if we don’t?]

“What would happen is that the world would catch up with you and try to sicken you. If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy, or both.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

“For writing allows just the proper recipes of truth, life, reality as you are able to eat, drink, and digest without hyperventilating and flopping like a dead fish in your bed.”

Perhaps that’s your experience. I know it’s mine.

Talk to you next Monday! 🙂

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