Friday, April 21, 2006

Excerpt from Today's Nonstop

photo of the Gobi Desert by ramarary

I usually do a nonstop every day when I am writing. This is where I set the timer for 10 or 20 minutes, then write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I just let myself go, sometimes I try to steer my thinking toward the issue at hand. Here is a portion of one I wrote today:

"So what do I do now? Do I just lie down and let my mind wander? Go stretch? Look at pictures? Read through the stuff I wrote yesterday? That’s not a bad idea. Just waiting. Filling the well and waiting. Maybe spend some just sitting and looking out the window, then spend some time looking over my notes and research material. Or maybe I could just go back to the opening (of ch 22) and describe things. Hmm... When I think about doing that there is resistance. I used to pay that feeling heed. Not so sure I should now.

"Maybe I should just have at it. Decide to write something. Anything. Sit here, as Anne Lamott recommends and close my eyes, breathing slowly and quietly and let my mind wander. then stare into space or out my window and let the images come. Just a small, one-inch image. Describe that. one sentence. Then another sentence, with no real concern for what it’s doing. I rather like that idea right now. So I could go back to what I’ve started in chapter 22 and do that.

"But I kind of don’t want to go over the all the notes and research again. Because it’s not that I’m going to take that material and put it down necessarily. It's only grist for the mill, ingredients for the cake. Not all of it will go in, not all of it will be part... and it's already there in my head. I read about it yesterday and there are things that do stand out. Those are what my talent and the Spirit will grab onto and bring to mind. I don't really need to "know" it all. I think maybe it’s like Paul said about speaking to the council -- that he didn't need to know what he was going to say because the Spirit would provide the words. In this case, don’t worry, don’t try to take too much control. Just go and start writing and trust the Spirit to provide the words and images you need. And be patient. Wait for Him to work in His time, not yours."

In the end I wrote 8 pages of first draft -- ch 22.