Knocking off the Rust, Sharpening the Blade

July 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

The wonderful Maureen McHugh once told me, “Writing is a skill, like basketball; not a body of information, like biology.” Her point being, you get good by writing, not by studying it, or thinking about it, or reading other writers talking about it. You grab the ball, get on the court, and start dribbling.

I like to think of it more like carpentry. Pulling and hauling, grunting and sweating, sawing and hammering until a dead tree starts to look like something else entirely.

I’m trying to get back into writing regularly after a too-long hiatus. Brought up the current novel and surprised myself by finding it to be not utter garbage. Then wrote 1100 words on it in a sitting. That was — gods, has it been two weeks already?

My tools have been in the shed too long. It’s time for oil and whetstone, sawdust and sandpaper. Daily work and callouses and atrophied muscle growing strong again.

Getting down to it, and getting it done.


(The skull of a massive skeleton made from chicken wire at COSI. Photo Credit: Me)

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