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3 Comments

  1. Richard
    April 26, 2012 @ 6:13 am

    Much could be said in reply to your post on knowing things about one’s parent(s) and writing. Space and my own shyness will limit me to two comments.

    First, all parents have the right and even the need to reserve some privacy about their lives from their children. There are always things in a person’s past that are better left not shared with one’s offspring. At least until the ‘child’ is fully grown and able to grasp life more fully in all its subtle complexities. Even then each person is entitled to his/her own privacy.

    Second, I agree with, and like, what you said about ‘discipline’ as part of writing. Having tried a little of it myself I can see that the act of simply putting aside time each day or week to engage in some writing ‘forces’ one to commit to the process of self reflection, etc that underlies writing. THAT is probably as important as what actually comes out of it.

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  2. Nancy
    April 25, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

    I like what the writer and writing teacher, Natalie Goldberg, has to say about writing:
    “I just think of space…Time to daydream. Time to notice things.”
    I think what she is saying is to give oneself permission to just let the pen roam over the paper without the interior critic talking.
    I think that is what you are describing here, Mani. You said, “I let myself write.” Of course, sooner or later, you do have to edit…
    I wish I were disciplined enough to sit and write. I only seem to do it if something is on my mind specifically. I guess I need to give myself the space to daydream!

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    • Mani
      April 25, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

      Thanks Nancy. I love your reminder that writing is a time to day dream. I think there is a place for discipline (maybe) but the word doesn’t have good associations. I think of it more as structure. Having dinner with your family only happens because you agree on the structure–that you will stop what you are doing and prepare a meal, or someone will, and you will sit down to share it. So making a time to write is structure. Then you can start with a paragraph. You may not feel inspired. But you are writing about buying fruit at the farmer’s market. It is late June and the local farmer has fresh figs. Suddenly you remember being eighteen and hitchhiking to Paris with a girlfriend. You found a room in the attic of an apartment building, formerly considered a servant’s room, with a slanted dormer and a small window. When you went back down to the street, you walked over to vendor with fresh figs. You had never tasted them fresh before, succulent, sweet, foreign to your tongue. That’s a true story, and that is roaming.

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