Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hemingway's way

From The Writer's Almanac~

Today marks the 115th birthday of Ernest Hemingway. He didn't start writing until his 26th birthday: two months later, he had a first draft. Years later, he told a friend: "Toward the last it was like a fever. Toward the last I was sprinting, like in a bicycle race, and I did not want to lose my speed making love or anything else." This novel, first titled Fiesta, was revised to The Lost Generation. 
We know it as The Sun Also Rises.

I'm certainly no Hemingway, but I know a thing or two about writing, and so it came as no surprise to me while watching a PBS special last night to discover that reclusive writer J.D. Salinger routinely holed up in a bunker outside his home in New Hampshire to attend to his writing.
I know that Maya Angelou rented hotel rooms when she needed to get writing done.
The need for solitude without distraction is the very reason why the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire exists, or why Hedgebrook in Washington state exists.
When I was at MacDowell, the gift of time and space allowed me to write eight to ten hours a day. Within twenty-four days, I had written (and revised) six short stories, four essays, and seven poems. I kept a detailed journal of my time there, too.
Ask me how much I've gotten done since.

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