30 March 2009

your side story


this is a long one, so giddy up. write club is back. after my hiatus of all things having to do with writing, i am once again wanting to write. i have renewed my library books two times now so i can catch up. am taking making the time to read a fantastic book, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. her words are motivational. to get in gear. to get in the groove. to create a habit. to write right now.

this week i want to focus on figuring out what story i want to tell. what words are worthwhile. what stories i want to leave behind. not that it has to be glorious and grandiose, but worthwhile. we are all such busy people, i want all this writing to matter. not necessarily to the masses, but at least perhaps to the future self. i want to say, wow. am glad i wrote that down. i would've never remembered it otherwise. tell the stories that only you can tell. because you know them in an individual way. and remember, no one else can see it from your perspective.



writing prompts | week 05.
storytelling. i want to be a storyteller. but for me, long ago and far away, trolls and gnomes and princess brides are for the tolkien-minded. (if you are one, i highly admire you and hope you'll email me with the secrets in portraying perfect descriptions of imaginary creatures who snack on round cakes and have hairy feet.) i will stick with the storytelling of what i know. for now i am trying to write about life. the things i believe in, the years i have lived and what i've learned, and the people that surround me and their beautiful quirks. i am fascinated with the way someone is recognizable. their voice. their walk. their hand gestures. i have a writing goal to detail my characters with such real life characteristics that you would know them if you saw them filling up their big gulp beside you.

in painting 101, i was taught that if you can see, you can draw. one theory is, you have never truly seen your spouse / friend / lover until you attempt to sketch him. that became our homework. and i learned every line on dan's face that weekend.

"It's on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly." - Claude Monet

"I know that to paint the sea really well, you need to look at it every hour of every day in the same place so that you can understand its way in that particular spot and that is why i am working on the same motifs over and over again, four or six times even." - Claude Monet

you see, writers are not the only ones who have to dig deep and take a lot of time to perfect their art. and it's really not in the perfecting. it's more about the doing. sadly i could not draw dan in the way i wanted him to look on my sketch pad. he resembled a person i'd never met. even though i could see him so clearly, i could not get it quite right. frustrating to say the least. my next idea was to write about him. about us. about our life together. so i began to sketch his picture with my words.

this week, write about something or someone who matters. tell stories. you can start small. bit by bit. word by word. here are some prompts to get you going.

01. start with a story. tell the story you've never told a soul. tell the funny story your friends beg you to retell at every reunion. tell the story of your first love, your first kiss, your first fight, your first car, your first day of school...

02. make a list of specific stories you think need to be told. the ones that are singing in your heart. about your childhood and the wallpaper that hung in your room, about your mom's crepes that are lovingly referred to as thinnies, about a day in the life of your current life, about someone who you miss dearly. keep your short story list in your notebook and refer to it when you wonder what to write.

03. tell stories of what you believe in (and what you don't believe in). and write paragraphs on each topic. i believe in heaven. i believe in creating my own happiness. i believe in to-do lists. i believe in eating breakfast. i believe in sending mail. i believe in seeing both sides of an issue. i don't believe in dieting.

okay there you go. am letting you loose with your wild tales. write like no one is watching. be brave. tell your story. because no one else will. no one else can.

club business. i've thoroughly enjoyed seeking out those who are actually writing. i see that you are seizing the moments and i love it. (i am so motivated by you. keep the pens moving!) click here, here, here and here to see club members in action.

28 comments:

Tiffany said...

Fantastic! Thanks for such lovely motivation!

summer said...

i wish you had been my english teacher, marta.
this club is such a brilliant & infectious idea.
thanks for the prompts & encouragement!

toshspice said...

Thanks for the writing prompts. I was just wondering where you got your notebook from.

Anne. said...

I'm excited! And might I add, your handwriting is impeccable! :)

Desiree Fawn said...

Oooh I think I'm going to have to go back and try out a few of your prompts from weeks in the past. I really want to get writing again & I think I've been using the baby excuse -- if you can do it, I CAN DO IT!

Katie said...

THANK YOU.

As much as I love beautiful blogs with awesome ideas and products, I've been missing the writing. The storiest. The guts.

Great links.

Katie said...

Oops, I meant the STORIES.


Sometimes my left pointer finger gets a little crazy with the -est endings...

Simply Yours said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hil said...

Sorry, I deleted that comment above... I had used the wrong account to make the comment!

I am so happy I found your blog! I absolutely love it. And I had no idea you were a graphic designer?!? We seriously need to talk sometime! I love your work!

Hil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zmaga said...

This is a great prompt - I can't wait to start!

Zmaga said...

This is a great prompt - I can't wait to start!

Christine said...

Glad to be writing along with all of you!

Camille said...

Bird by Bird is a fantastic book. I've been reading it over and over for years. This is great stuff!

Shani (aka "Camille")

Chelsey said...

Hey Marta... thanks for you comment about the shower! It turned out so cute. One thing I did for the shower that was really fun was made homemade suckers. They went with the color and baby theme and everyone took one home. We kept the games pretty simple and quick. Email me if you want more info. :)

hannah said...

Thank you so much for the prompts! I have been writing almost every day and it has been such a pleasure!

amy said...

marta you have the loveliest soul. your experience with painting (i wish I could paint so badly!) reminds me of my Grandma. she is an excellent, life-long painter. we have encouraged her to paint in her old age, and she was painting one of my sister's bridals a few years ago. I remember she would just stare. stare at the photo, and then stare at what she had painted.

Travelin'Oma said...

You are the creative writing teacher we all wish we had. And now we can have you via this little blog classroom. Yay for the internet!

Lee said...

This is wonderful. You are wonderful! I stumbled upon your blog a couple of weeks ago and I'm so glad I did! I'll be writing right along with you. Thanks so much (and those links were lovely, thanks for that, too!)

Roo said...

bird by bird is so inspirational. here's to many "shitty first drafts" :)

schwarkmom said...

I love love love your writing club. The prompts are just what I need. I keep thinking, "I want to write, but what should I write about???"

Anyway, I have started, and I really appreciate your creativity and encouragement!

ellen said...

I was going to recommend Bird By Bird. I've enjoyed all of Anne Lamott's books.

That Tall Girl said...

Marta, I am at a teacher conference today in New Hampshire, and I just saw the BEST author. His name is Peter Reynolds. His writings reminded me of your write club, and his drawings reminded me of your love for graphic design.

You have to check out his books like "The North Star," "Ish," and "The Dot." Amazon.com has them all. Great books to read to your little one when he's a bit older!! :)

His goal is to inspire creativity and to find ways to write and draw to show what you know and how you feel. I think these would be right up your alley!

EsteeRenee said...

I so often find myself wanting to write but I use the excuse that I didn't start when I was young so why start now. But your prompts have inspired me! What a way to journal... it's not about logging my day as much as it is telling my story! Plz keep sending out prompts. I love it... so much better than any creative writing class. You win, hands down!

Jessica said...

I love love love Bird by Bird. She fills me with splendor. And tries to break my words-ending-in-ly habit.

Molly said...

i am a huge fan of write club. thanks m

jessica, a miniature rhino said...

i loved bird by bird. i used it to help me with photography. look at this one thing, this one part of the story to make a photograph...

wunderbug said...

ooo - i'm a bit behind in my blog reading so i'm just getting to this post now, but *great* post.

i particularly love numbers one and two - they're exactly what i'd love to hear from people in my tell me a story series.

mm. great job, marta.

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