If...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How are you on this fine Thursday?  Well, I hope.

Not much to report here.  I am getting organized to start writing again.  Though I believe I possess the capacity to simply sit down and pick up the pen--uh, er, pound on the typewriter, I'm discovering as I better learn my writing process that I do my best work once I've organized my workspace.  

This process always takes longer than I think it will, sometimes up to a week.  I retrieve my writing notebook and other references and array them next to where I'll be working.  I clean my desk (or workspace), toss old papers, remove random detritus, review project notes, determine the nearest source of fresh coffee, prestage coffee cups, requisition pens and pencils and keep them at the ready for the quick note or diagram--all those nitnoid items.

Along with organizing my physical surroundings, I also tend to put my brain in a different gear, a wavelength reserved only for the writing process.  I begin to remember the problems my character(s) faced, recall the unfinished snippets of plot or story idea yet to be tackled, I think differently.  I find myself jotting down fragments of dialogue or shooting myself quick email notes throughout these preparatory days to bank trinkets and treasures discovered during moments of inspiration. 

Yes, perhaps all this prep and cogitation is a form of procrastination, but once everything is in it's proper physical and mental place, I finally feel ready to go.  I wonder if everyone else has a similar process.  Do you find this happens to you?

Anyhoo, in lieu of any writing news, I am posting something different today: poetry.  When it comes to poetry, I'm a sucker for the classics.  This Kipling masterpiece always inspires.  Enjoy it, stay groovy and have a great day!

If

By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
~~fin~~

3 bolts from the blue:

Summer said...

I memorized that Kipling poem when I was about 9 and have always loved it.

When I'm getting ready to start something new or go back to it after a while, I go through a similar "nesting" process, mostly involving cleaning the rest of the house so I can concentrate. But once I'm in the groove, I can focus pretty well.

Liza said...

All of your desk set up means you are getting ready to write...and if you know this about yourself and trust that you will begin again, then you all is good. Love the picture of positioning the coffee cups. My desk is a bit of a clutter these days, but I manage and am grateful for it. Wonderful poem JP.

Houston A.W. Knight said...

OMG, Kipling is one of the best and this poem has always been one of my favorites!

The words are so true about life and how to survive it.

Great post today!

Hawk

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