Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Getting into the groove...again

This summer, I will regain my love of writing. I will write more, more, more. I will open the dreaded manuscripts and read my old heart and soul. I will be gentle with myself. I will write to put words on paper – to open my heart to the page – to get thoughts that circle and circle inside my head to journey outward. I will allow myself to write crap. I will allow myself to read old crap I’ve written without judgment. I will edit and change and read and probably slap my own forehead in frustration – but I will write.

I will let the stories that float in my mind come to life. I will nurture characters, flesh out their worlds, build their conflicts and tear them down again. I will measure success not in finished paragraphs, but in the number of days I create the time and space to write – even if it is only a few words scribbled on an old receipt or a limerick on a restaurant napkin. I will make the time.

This summer, I will believe that I should write. I will silence the evil monkey mind – the one that sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear the dirty secrets about how I can’t, shouldn’t, will never be able to write. I will, with a flick of my finger, send that monkey flying from my shoulder. At least I will try. I will acknowledge that the evil voice has many cousins who will continue to try to keep me so unsure and off balance. But in that acknowledgement, I will not acquiesce. I will fling all of them – the cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles of my monkey mind – all of them from my shoulders. I will believe that I should write. I will believe that I can write.

This summer, I will go back to the form of literature I love while embracing even older lovers. I will seek out new books by young adult authors and old middle grade classics. I will also let myself sink into Shakespeare or Austen or even read trashy romance novels or geeky science fiction – as long as I remind myself to learn from each and every author.  I will seek out the reasons why I love characters or hate settings. I will focus on plot curves, conflicts and resolutions, character arcs and symbols. I will think about how beautiful a well-crafted heroine appears on the page. I will recognize the warts and wrinkles and puss-filled carbuncles of poorly written prose and acknowledge that maybe…just maybe…I could write more elegantly, even though they got published and I haven’t yet. Yet. Yet….

This summer, I will get my groove back. I will write again. I will stretch again – in body and mind. I will talk books, go to critique groups, find new writing friends and ask for advice from old partners. I will remember what it is to be a writer.


  1. Here's me doing a YYEESSSS dance for YOU and sending up my praise to the gods of ink and paper and sending a snark-filled warning to all monkeys who would deign to mess with my friend. Flick away the monkey! Explore the carbuncles! Groove, my dear, groove! :) This post filled me with smiles and joy and the goodness of knowing you...

  2. Hi Karen,
    Lovely post about writing intentions during the summer. Make sure to add a great dose of delight in the mix. I highly recommend Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy's (aka SARK) book called Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper. It's all about delighting ourselves during the writing process and flicking that monkey off our back as well as transforming inner critics into allies.

    1. Thanks, Michele! I haven't heard of Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper, but it sounds like I should check it out. And let's all look forward to flicking those monkeys, shall we? :) Glad you come to visit Carpe Keyboard and keep writing!