Writing 101, Day 5 and 6: “Let Social Media Inspire You” and “The Space to Write”

On day five we were shown five “Tweets” , told to chose one and write a response to it. Here is the one I chose:

It’s true, at least for every serious writer I’ve ever known…well, there may be a few narcissists out there, but you can’t go by what they think anyway, can you?

I don’t think any of us feel entirely adequate: that’s why we take classes like this one. There is always someone else who seems to have an easier time putting words to page.

My mother can write a poem, and a good one, at the drop of a hat. She makes up poetry for her answering machine, and people call just to hear her message. A friend of mine once said calling my mom was like calling Dr. Seuss!

On our birthdays, we know we will get an early morning call from Mom,singing a birthday song with new words written just for us. Mom figures she’s a decent poet, but nothing special, although we’ve all tried to convince her other wise.

I wish I could do what she does. I can write poetry, but very rarely does it all come out at once. When it does, I almost always have to go back and fix it. I get bits and pieces, which leads me to the Writing 101 assignment for day six: The Space To Write.

Here are the instructions:

Where do you write? Do you prefer blogging on your laptop in a coffee shop? Are you productive in a quiet room, door closed, away from civilization? Today, describe the space where you write. Or, if you don’t have a dedicated place, what is your ideal setting?

Consider these questions to shape your post:

  • What are your writing habits?
  • What equipment or supplies do you use to write?
  • What do you need and want in a physical space?”

I write on my laptop at my desk, in what is my office/craft room/music room. The desk is an old double school desk a friend gave me years ago.

My desk

My desk

My habits are often haphazard, as they depend on what else is going on. In order to write about homesteading, one must DO homesteading, which means you are sometimes at the mercy of the homestead. Additionally, with schedules constantly changing, finding a specific time to write is nearly impossible. We have decided to switch regular school lessons to the afternoon, after Ed goes to work. That way, if we need to work on something together in the morning, we don’t have to worry about interrupting school. Also, if we need him for an extra curricular lesson, (like Archery, or Driver’s Ed) we can do those in the morning, when he’s home. Another advantage to afternoon lessons is that we don’t have the constant interruption of his running in and out.

All that means is that the best time for me to be able to write, at least for right now, is between seven and nine in the evening. Usually though, I try to open a blank document in the morning, so that if something comes to me, I can run in here and write it down.

Sometimes things come to me in bits and pieces, and I have to put them together like a jigsaw puzzle. (Thank God for cut and paste!) Sometimes, when I sit down to write, it’s all in my head, and sometimes, I just think it is, until I sit down. I suppose none of that really makes sense…unless you’re a writer.

Word Crush Wednesday: Miller and Carson

Sonya Carson came from an enormous family of 24 children; She was married at 13 and had two sons. Several years later, she discovered her husband had another family, and the couple split. That left Sonya, a young black woman with a 3rd grade education, to raise her sons on her own, in 1959. Sonya was nothing if not determined. Often working three jobs, she provided for her children. She pushed them toward excellence. Sometimes, she would quote scripture or poetry to them as a form of encouragement. The following was one such poem.

This is my Word Crush Wednesday quote of the week:

Yourself to Blame
By Mayme White Miller

If things go bad for you-
And make you a bit ashamed,
Often you will find out that
You have yourself to blame…

Swiftly we ran to mischief
And then the bad luck came,
Why do we fault others?
We have ourselves to blame…

Whatever happens to us,
Here are the words to say,
“Had it not been for so-and-so
Things wouldn’t have gone that way”

And when you’re short of friends,
I’ll tell you what to do-
Make an examination,
You’ll find the faults in you…

You’re the captain of your ship,
So agree with the same-
If you travel downward,
You have yourself to blame.

Talk about taking personal responsibility!
Sonya Carson died a few months ago, and you may or may not of heard of her, but if you are living in the United States, I bet you’ve heard of her youngest son. He is a neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins University, and is also a presidential hopeful for the 2016 election. His name is Ben Carson.

The poem was used in the introduction (written by Sonya) to Ben Carson’s autobiography: “Gifted Hands”.