Writing the Root!

Writing the Root: A one day studio course

Winter is the time to write inward rather than outward, to draw on what we’ve already gathered, to keep warm and close to home and dream. In this one-day workshop, we’ll work on writing that divines what sustains us through dark times; through poetry and prose exercises, both intuitive and formal, and some visualizations and tactile exercises, we’ll identify our resources and storehouses, our shelters and our warm cores. For shivering writers in any genre; poets should be prepared to try a little prose, and vice versa.

INSTRUCTOR: Kate Schapira
DATE: Sunday, February 8, 2015
TIME: 10am-2pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: Sliding scale $25-$55
Register here!

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Where the Fools Fear to Tread

“The wise man knows himself to be a fool,” Shakespeare (the fool).

In an article William Leith in 1991, DeLillo said, “I write to find out how much I know,” he said. “The act of writing for me is a concentrated form of thought. If I don’t enter that particular level of concentration, the chances are that certain ideas never reach any level of fruition.”

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There are many ways within you, some carpeted with bright electric light, some slippery as stones strung through a pond. How very brave that you should venture forth despite reflections, murky and florescent; to uncover what you know.

The Neuroscience of Writing Has Me All Fired Up

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Joan Didion: “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. Why did the oil refineries around Carquinez Straits seem sinister to me in the summer of 1956? Why have the night lights in the bevatron burned in my mind for twenty years? What is going on in these pictures in my mind?”

Check this out too:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/science/researching-the-brain-of-writers.html?_r=0

But writing hurts! Why are positive things painful? Struggle uncomfortable? Because change requires effort, which is energy expended and evolutionarily speaking, the conservation of energy has survival benefits, and so sloth is rewarded? Don’t be a sloth. Your brain needs you. Get on that mental hamster wheel called writing, and churn till you burn.

Don’t Get Slipped Up

Even the discarded bits of life can be distracting. Don’t let anything occupy those precious moments carved out for writing.

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Obligations and people demand time. If they love you, they will understand. “‘It is only half an hour’—‘it is only an afternoon’—‘it is only an evening’—people say to me over and over again—but they don’t know that it is impossible to command oneself sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes—or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometimes worry a whole day. These are the penalties paid for writing books. Whoever is devoted to an Art must be content to deliver himself wholly up to it, and find his recompense in it. I am grieved if you suspect me of not wanting to see you, but I can’t help it.” —Charles Dickens (writing to Maria Beadnell Winter, a childhood sweetheart, who wished to make an appointment with him)

Pause to Process Before Putting to Page

Certain thoughts demands immediate, spontaneous expression, others unfurl so slowly no single point of creation is detectable.  Writing is like this; some inpirations require a long, hot soak.

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“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” Sylvia Plath