|on June 2018 walk|
The bee on the flower showed up to view only after I had downloaded the picture from my phone to the computer. If I had not slowed down first to take a walk, second to take the time to snap a photo, and third to take that closer look, I would have missed the unexpected detail.
Maybe that's what Shelby Foote (1916-2005) experienced when he wrote with an old fashioned dip pen. I'm sure, based on his list of published works, the exercise must have helped him capture extra-special details. Let his record stand: The Civil War: A Narrative in three volumes, along with six published novels, are among his published credits. I'm not thinking of going all the way back to dipping a pen in an inkwell, but I do like to start writing sessions with a prompt or two--often written by hand--to slow down and give the creative side space to kick in. In fact just the other day my oldest granddaughter (age 10) and I did a word association exercise to generate ideas for setting and character names needed for a writing project the two of us are working on together :-)
Additional quotes by Mr. Foote include:
"If you want to study writing, read Dickens. That's how to study writing, or Faulkner, or D.H. Lawrence, or John Keats. They can teach you everything you need to know about writing."
"And I'm a slow writer: five, six hundred words is a good day. That's the reason it took e 20 years to write those million and a half words of the Civil War."
And how about this one:
"A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library."
Yep--and maybe just about any community as well. At least they should be. A good place to slow down anyway.
How's your summer going? Finding time to slow down? Maybe carving out enough time to get some writing done? What is your go-to-technique to slow down and capture that elusive thought?