Monday, March 1, 2010

March. Onward.

After a cold and blustery February, what better reason to chill?

I take notice of an exuberance of words in my posts. Writing too much.

Spare writing spares the reader. Edit too much and the work turns to sand. Too fine, too dry. Writing is an act of faith, a discipline requiring a pact with the reader: to connect, to share, to inform, to transport, to amuse, to keep interest. To stay true. Words are the tools we use to navigate that vast stream of consciousness through which we drift and flow. Our insistent “inner voice” propels us forward. It also needs the balance of our inner ear: to listen and say: enough.

“In writing, you must kill your darlings” is the advice from William Faulkner, who borrowed the phrase from Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. (More on that is just a google-search away.) Morning pages open the floodgates -- putting the detritus of fleeting thoughts into words. Those scribbles are useful, but only as a prelude to more pressing work: editing the noise. So onward. To brevity . . .

* * *

Killing my darlings. Please excuse the torrent of words. The stuff of dreams. Poof, they’re gone. Like so much fluff.


  1. Thank God! Fluff from Vivian! An encouragement for the road. And I thought everyone was hibernating in winter, as we travelers move towards, well, a chilly spring in Florida. Today a high of 69? Or so. Not complaining. But not basking either. Thanks Vivian! For words about words. Such good thinking. Reminding us to Word Responsibly. Such encouragement for denizens of the Marriott in Boynton Beach.

  2. Oh, too funny! I was just about to kill the paragraph on synchronicity. Seems it's a little gooey, sorta like. . . fluff!
    You'll be happy to know that it's 40 degrees with temps rising this morning in Michigan. The sun is out, yes. . . there will be spring. Soon enough. Enjoy Boynton Beach. Tomorrow I will be in the Grand Cayman's ... 80 degrees.

  3. Here is more encouragement... so tired from shoveling Friday & Saturday that I have not done a thing since, except go to work & come home. Cleveland snow, I salute you!

  4. Dognabbit, Viv. I just went back to review your darlings because there was something I really liked in that last paragraph and ... and... You KILLED it!

  5. I guess that's the way it goes . . . of course I never kill anything, just mash it up and use it again. I will rethink, and repost-- but off hand, as I recall, it was something about the dichotomy of optimism and pessimism-- our inner editor and the still small voice that calls to us all . . . something like that.