Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

imagesExercise Time!

All the New Year’s tweets and Facebook posts about resolutions began to swim together. But one lingered with me long enough to remember the point: Consider it an “intention,” not a “resolution.” I wish I could credit the person who shared this idea, because I love it. And it’s helping me manage a big writing intention of my own: daily writing.

Even if it’s only a few minutes per day, I am INTENDING to write briefly for myself each day in 2015. To help me get in/keep to this habit, I’m currently relying rather heavily on exercises and prompts.

One week in, and so far, so good! One of the poems I wrote after scanning this list of prompts may actually turn into something…someday. And the few hundred words inspired by Midge Raymond’s “Bad Habit” tip may be something I return to as well.

Sunday in the City

From one of my writing friends, whose husband served and was injured in Iraq, I learned the significance of the term “Alive Day” some years back. I think of that term every January 4, and so I thought of it again this past Sunday.

Sunday, January 4, was the sixth anniversary of the events that I ultimately wrote about in what I now call the “Sunday in the City” essay sequence: “Sunday in the City,” carte blanche, Fall 2012; “Lucky Day,” Proto, Summer 2013; “Before Sunrise,” Brevity, March 2013; “At the Station House,” Contrary, Summer 2013. One interesting postscript: I wrote all four of these pieces using the second-person point-of-view. But the Proto column features first-person essays. So I adapted that essay accordingly when I submitted it there.

Which reminds me: I haven’t yet found the time to read James Chesbro’s “Notes for You: Second Person in Creative Nonfiction,” which appears in the new (February 2015) issue of The Writer’s Chronicle, which arrived in my mailbox sometime this past week. But I’m looking forward to doing so.

What I’ve Been Reading

As you may have surmised from my latest Sunday Sentence, I’ve spent a lot of time this past week reading Adam Kirsch’s brilliant Rocket and Lightship: Essays on Literature and Ideas. My major challenge reading this book was that I found myself constantly pausing to note another title “TBR.”

Frankly, many of the books that Kirsch deals with in this collection I should have read long ago. So I’m INTENDING to get to them sooner rather than later. To wit: I’m now immersed in Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City. Also rendered especially appealing (to me) via Rocket and Lightship: Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland. And everything Cynthia Ozick has written that I have not yet read.

So that’s me. What’s new with all of you?

4 thoughts on “Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

  1. Jennifer says:

    Love the idea of intention v. Resolution – feels so much more thoughtful. The additions to the Tbr list sound inspiring – even the title alone A Walker in the City is so appealing!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! Gosh, I really wish I could credit the originator of the “intention” idea.

  2. I’ve added Rocket and Lightship to my TBR, knowing full well I’ll now have many more a book to read…YAY! Now if I can just figure out how to add more time to my reading day!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Yes, let me know when you have figured that out! 🙂

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