I attended a wonderful writing workshop at the Nowhere Else Festival in Martinsville, Ohio in May 2017. John Baskin–writer, editor and co-founder of Orange Frazer Press publishing company, headed up the event. He challenged the 50+ writers, authors, and wanna-be-writers in the room to get out of your own head and to “keep it simple.”
My piece was part of a hand-full of “honorable mentions” for a writing assignment contest. It came as a very pleasant surprise to me because, as per usual, I was running late to the event. The workshop was the very next morning after a long, late night drive from St. Louis to Ohio and unfortunately, I missed the first 20 minutes. I made it just in time to hear what the assignment was (for the most part) and scribbled a few passing thoughts onto a page ripped out of my journal before handing it in at the end of the workshop. Upon turning it in, I still wasn’t sure I had followed Mr. Baskin’s specific directions. I only had 5 minutes to develop my thoughts and I feared that is what resulted… a rough, rushed paragraph with little substance.
When it comes to writing, ‘overthinking’ has been one of my biggest hurdles and this exercise in spontaneous/timed writing, really helped me to realize the value of impromptu writing. In the past, I have hidden behind the idea that I “never have enough time to write.” I don’t think that excuse can fly anymore. I need to just write, even if that means I have 5 minutes with a full house of noise all around me or an entire weekend to myself with complete silence. The results might not be that different. I need to get out of the way and write regardless of time or circumstance.
Below is the piece I wrote that day and here is the website where it is mentioned: Orange Frazer Press
The morning sun takes advantage of the thin hotel curtains and wakes me abruptly. Yesterday’s six-hour drive weighs my bones with a familiar heaviness. I am getting old. The girls are still asleep. I move without sound in hopes to leave them for a few more minutes, their rest means a more peaceful day. They stir. It’s time to begin. As the coffee brews and they fill their bellies, I fill with joy that they will soon experience the beauty of music that I fell in love with when I was eighteen years old. Life, full circle.