“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


reverb10: day 2. writing. and keeping it all.

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing
and can you eliminate it?

is this a trick question?, i thought.  cause everything i do contributes to my writing.  i mean everything.  if i'm sad, that's the contribution - did i not, and do i not still, write my way through grief and heartbreak?  the whole point of my writing is to spin little yarns about the everydayness of every day, whatever that everydayness may be.  i've typed words-a-plenty about having nothing to say.  so i was confused.  befuddled. wondered if perhaps the question was what do i not do each day, but that's just a rewording, just semantics, so nope, that couldn't be it.  i reread the question again and felt a bit of annoyance.  who does this guy think he is?, i wondered.  2nd day in, throwing out a question like this, a question that kinda sorta hints that if you're doing anything that doesn't serve the god of writing, you ain't got passion enough, commitment enough, to even consider being a writer, so off, scat, begone with you, but that brought me back to my original thought - everything contributes.  it all does.  even the parts that temporarily keep me from writing contribute in the long run, even the parts like i cannot get enough rest, i cannot sleep, i am exhausted, and is that what he is asking?  about those shut-down times?

i don't know.  i've thought about it all day, and i thought, like others, well, i have to work to find the time to write, but not really, not really, i have time, i do.  there are days i don't use it well, but he said each day.  i don't have time for everything every day, and sometimes that means that day i may not write, but if there is something else that needs to be done - a job, like many of you, with no one to fill in for me when i'm sick, or taking care of my mother, or laying on the damn couch watching hallmark channel movies one after the other because it's been a bad day and those mindless plots are the only thing that will stop the worry and overthinking and allow me to get up the next day and begin again - that something else that needs to be done is something that contributes to my writing.  i will find the words for it or not, but it contributes to who i am, and who i am sits in front of this computer most nights and writes, whether anyone sees it or not. 

"it all contributes, she says so arrogantly."  i know what you're thinking - you're aghast that i would take this approach.  who do i think i am?  markham?  hemingway?  t.r. by god pearson?  no.  not even close.  but here's the deal - even the things i would choose to eliminate contribute. 

so 2 days in.
 can reverb10 expel me? 


  1. they do, you are so right.

    this was a tough prompt, i think for a lot of people.

    i love this post though, love it, you came shining right through with all the things i love about you.

    maybe they will just give you detention. :)

  2. not considering myself a "real" writer by definition, although the definition eludes me, the muse comes when it comes and has something to say, like a flowing banner of words that slips from the sky through my brain.

    somedays, i don't have the time or the energy to capture the essence of that banner of words. so what? another will come. because YES(!) everything informs the words i write, just as you, dear brilliant writer-friend of mine.


  3. Great post! I agree wholeheartedly. I had a similar process interpreting the question, glad to see that I'm not alone !

  4. So glad I'm not alone. Great entry :)

  5. At least, when you are a writer, the writing can still go on a little in your head while you are doing other things. As a painter, when you aren't doing it, you aren't doing it.
    Thanks for the beautiful posts.

  6. Roberta - so, so SO true. As a painter, even when it is going on in my head, it's a whole different thing. I'm not painting, I'm thinking, and I've found that to be a not so good place to paint from. Thank you.

    And thank you everyone else. I'm not yet in detention or expelled. :)

  7. I read in an Ann Patchett interview or book - somewhere - that she was afraid to marry her boyfriend because she didn't want him to know how much of her "writing" was actually thinking, daydreaming, pondering.

    I don't know what prompted this post, but you've landed a slam dunk. Everything does contribute and you can "write" even without putting fingers to keyboard or pen to paper.

  8. hee hee ... we are totally on the same page. i wrote something very similar though not quite as eloquently ... xoxo

  9. Are you crazy? I absolutely LOVE this approach to the Q. In fact, I want to adopt it.

    p.s. you can never be expelled! :)

  10. ah, i love this post. you nailed it.

    i also love jeannine's comment.

    (my word verification is nolit, which i find very funny.)

  11. Great news! 'Nothing' is perfectly acceptable as an answer. In this regard, you are a shining beacon for those who consciously or subconsciously throw speedbumps in the way.

    Having said that, if something DID happen to you over the weekend for your response to this post, please let me know. You see, I've been away and I'm now 3 days behind. I'm considering skipping Days 4 and 5 (as I've answered them in previous posts without knowing I was doing so) - or somehow packaging Days 4, 5 and 6 together.

    We can maybe do Detention together. A la The Breakfast Club. I'll bring the mascara ...

  12. Not aghast--approving. 100% approving.

  13. I kind of wish I got on this band wagon....I didn't know about this reverb thing until a day or so ago...would have been fun, but perhaps a little too much work...so I applaud you for sticking in there.


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