Thursday, 19 July 2012

Writing Craft Skills

At a WCYR Board meeting last night, I managed to remind myself and be reminded by another (thank you Carly Bumstead, really!) how long it's been since I posted anything here. 

I'm a writer, right?  And apparently one of some skill, or so claimed the president: "Just look around this table," she bubbled with an inclusive wave to all six of us gathered last night, "there is a tremendous depth of skill and writing craft sitting right here!." 
Well that gave me pause, let me tell you. We were considering the addition of a panel discussion and Q & A segment to our monthly meetings and I wondered what possible expertise I could bring to such an occasion. The question turned over and over again in my mind, anxiety and self-doubt edging up with every blank thought drawn. Then the heavens opened and the light shone! My offering to a community of writers, my skill is the one I've been diligently honing all summer, and one I'm sure I could talk about for hours - PROCRASTINATION. Why, just a few more practise units and I'd qualify to teach a master class on this beauty. And, and the really neat thing is that I've discovered a tonne of resources (real people!!) out there for me to call upon for support and encouragement.

Now let me be honest here, there has been one significant lapse in my devotion to this skill development, but I can explain...
My love and I cruised off the continent for a month, sailing out of Fort Lauderdale on May 5 and flying back from Amsterdam on June 3. First the good news: I took the written chapters of the memoir I'm working on, along with the bulging folder of notes, umpteen writing implements (one to suit each mood and a backup set), a full bottle of ink for my beloved fountain pen and two, count 'em, two pencil sharpeners. I was sure that seven consecutive days at sea crossing the Atlantic Ocean would prove too intensive for studies in writer's procrastination. I was wrong. I opened the writing kit but once -- to fish out a pencil sharpener required to tone up my best sudoku pencil. BUT then we made landfall and procrastination suffered a serious setback. Itching writer's fingers grabbed pen, pencil, whichever was near, and I began to write commentaries to accompany a selection of photos which were then emailed to followers at home. I wrote fourteen of these photo essays, some of them quite extensive for someone on vacation, and I confess, I had great fun writing them. Mea culpa, mea culpa...

Back home, there have been wonderful opportunities to sharpen my special writing skill -- strawberry picking and jam making, raspberry picking, family gatherings and of course editing and organising the 7500 digital photos from our cruise (though it has been claimed that this last activity is not writer's procrastination at all, but rather an intense trolling for story ideas -- yeah, sure).

I am thrilled to report that thanks to my daughter in law, I acquired just this past week yet another tool guaranteed to take me to the next level in my skill development -- the FitBit.  Basically this little gadget encourages and tracks walking, running and stair climbing, all of which preclude 'bum-in-chair' writing. It even rewards me with badges for every 5000 steps, 10 floors climbed and 5 miles travelled. SCORE+++ for writer's procrastination!!

OOPS -- gotta get going!

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