Pages

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Breathings



How tender and sweet the light after a week (or more!) of rain. I haven't minded it so much - it's put me in the right frame of mind for these days free for writing.  I can't say I was especially productive today, but I did have the realization that I'm close to where I need to print the manuscript off.  I need to be able to write in the margins and feel the weight of the thing.  I find I can't really get a sense of the flow when I'm scrolling down a screen.  Once I had a draft of my last (as yet unpublished and beginning to be despaired about) novel, I would work and polish a section, a rather random part of the manuscript often.  Every morning, just work on a sentence or two, or a page.  And after that I went back to the start of the manuscript and read through to where I'd get stuck.  Then I'd work on that part.  And so on.  After a while I'd start in the middle and do the same through until the end.  I think this method has a lot to do with the use of a computer. But can you imagine what it would be like to write a manuscript on a typewriter?  The re-typing I think is the thing.  It puts you right back into the place where you want to be, but you're also completely free to change a sentence etc.

I'm old enough that I did learn how to type on a typewriter (the IBM Selectric) and though once in a while I fantasize about working on a typewriter for drafts, I think that the method I've developed suits my working habits.  One adapts to one's technology perhaps.




"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." 

~ William Wordsworth




I was reading bits and pieces of V. Woolf's diary this afternoon when the writing had slowed down.  She writes:  "To lie on the sofa for a week.  I am sitting up today in the usual state of unequal animation.  Below normal, with spasmodic desire to write, then to doze."  Isn't this such a lovely image - to imagine oneself adrift on a sofa for a week....notebooks and favorite books at hand. A rigorous schedule of writing, then dozing. But it's mainly a dream, even was for Woolf I'm sure.  An afternoon though.  That could be real.

2 comments:

  1. I too learned to type on a typewriter. Mine was a beautiful old (but refurbished) Remington manual. It was necessary to really push each key very firm and deliberately -- definitely a labour.

    In the previous post I truly identified with this quote, ""When I don't understand a poem, or part of it, I don't insist: I try to be satisfied with what I understand, and I'm sure that another time, under other conditions, I'll understand more and understand something else..." >>> You see, I too find poetry that way; in fact, I say it's something like working on a crossword puzzle. Read it, get it, and those parts I don't get, I will come back to later and inevitably I catch hints or phrases with my new and fresh perspective. Sometimes it's necessary to revisit it multiple times but, in the end, it's such a great feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And then I find as I get older and come back to the poems I read as I was younger, they become richer, more layered. They are often just like crossword puzzles though! Diane, thanks so much for stopping by and all your lovely comments!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...