Recipe for Story Writing

For several years before Yahoo! abruptly pulled its plug, I contributed to the Yahoo! Lifestory group almost daily. Every time I'd post something about a personal memory, I pasted the email body into a continuing WordPerfect document, together with the date. As a result, I have over one hundred pages of prime memory scraps recorded in a sort of album of random stories, all written in short periods of time.

In reading through this collection, I noticed one that I wrote in response to a member who mentioned that she was striving for balance. My reply was a form of freewriting, a technique often recommended for overcoming writer's block. If you have ever experienced this affliction, perhaps you'll appreciate these recycled thoughts:
What is this balance you are looking for? Time for writing about life and time for living it? The pain preventing balance of body in chair? The delicate balance between gushy detail and rich description? Balancing an egg on a pole on the tip of your little finger? Or walking a tight wire across Grand Canyon?

Balance. I imagine that if I ever find perfect balance, I shall levitate into the next dimension, freed at last of gravity and fumbles.

Gravity. Now there's another nice concept. Perhaps gravity of spirit is more cumbersome and oppressive than gravity binding feet to terra firma. So, there is yet another balance to strive for, between grumpy gus and airhead. But wait. Who needs balance? The next dimension sounds more appealing all the time!

Now look what happened: A blank email screen is a direct challenge. My fingers take over where my mind may falter. Mindless sounding or profound, I'm often as surprised as anyone at what pours forth. Here's my recipe:

Connect fingers with keys, engage heart, and let the words flow. Test with mind to see if the words are worth sharing, and/or need tweaking. Press save, send, or delete accordingly.
I've polluted your mind for writing about balance. Why don't you write a few lines about chaos, passion, iciness or a whip? Be bold and share your experiment as a comment to this post.

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal


Stephanie West Allen said...

As I mentioned on my blog, it is National Delurking Week. I simply wanted to take this opportunity to make sure you know that I read and very much appreciate your blog. Thanks, Sharon.

PS Blogger will not let me put my URL in the regular place at your blog. I keep getting a message that says. "URL ends with an invalid top-level domain name even though I am using

a.m. said...

Chaos. I admit that it's what drives me. The lone tatoo I've ever wanted is of the Chinese symbol of chaos which represents the wellspring of creativity and life that comes from chaos. I've had friends and family as me if I would someday like to give up working full time to pursue writing full time. My answer has always been no because it's when I'm my busiest at work or commuting or schoolwork that I end up having my most creative thoughts. The chaos on one side of my brain fuels the creativity in the other side. I love this balance of my skills and find it all necessary to keeping me going as a human individual. I love my chaos, and while it fatigues me and drives me to random craziness, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I know it benefits me, and in the end, benefits both spheres of my life.

(Thanks for inspiring me and letting me share!)