11 November 2007
for writers who need inspiration
(and who among us doesn't?)

Fellow writer and friend Fango of Bici Vecchia: An Errant in Italy recently sent me a link to an excerpt of award-winning author Wendell Berry's The Art of the Commonplace.


In a word? Wow.


There is so much good stuff in this piece, I'd love to parse it out and offer my thoughts for discussion here periodically.

Unfortunately, right now all I can manage is the aforementioned "wow," but I'm working on a more intelligent response, I promise.


I did want to share one particular section, though, as I and thousands of others are trying our darnedest to write 50,000 words in November for NaNoWriMo. Watch my progress in the sidebar, by the way.

So, to my fellow writers whether NaNo-ing or not, I offer the words of Berry:

At first glance, writing may seem not nearly so much an art of the body as, say, dancing or gardening or carpentry. And yet language is the most intimately physical of all the artistic means. We have it palpably in our mouths; it is our langue, our tongue. Writing it, we shape it with our hands. Reading aloud what we have written--as we must do, if we are writing carefully--our language passes in at the eyes, out at the mouth, in at the ears; the words are immersed and steeped in the senses of the body before they make sense in the mind. They cannot make sense in the mind until they have made sense in the body. Does shaping one's words with one's own hand impart character and quality to them, as does speaking them with one's own tongue to the satisfaction of one's own ear? There is no way to prove that it does. On the other hand, there is no way to prove that it does not, and I believe that it does.

I told you. Wow.

Write on writers!

30 days of thanks
Today I'm thankful for:

Inspiration. Whether it's an article or book recommended by a friend, another blogger's gorgeous writing, wagging puppy tails, or just plain old glorious sunshine, inspiration abounds, and I find myself typing, typing, typing away on my NaNo novel. I'm actually up to 11, 313 words (and I'm not finished yet tonight!), but I can't get onto my template to update. Woohoo!

Who knows what I'll have when I'm done, but at least it's more than I had on October 31.

P.S. Sadly, my internet connection is even worse than it was before. Hanging on by a thread here, thus the lack of a "30 Days of Thanks" graphic and link [edited: they've now been added!] *and* the post just after midnight--I'm playing it safe just in case I lose the whole connection overnight.

Telecom Italia tells me it'll be back to normal Monday or Tuesday. Wish us luck!

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20 Comments:

This is great Sognatrice. I am going to check out the link.

Good luck with your internet. You're doing a great job accumulating words :)All your posts are interesting.

Blogger Wenda said...

I love the quote and way to go with the novel!

Blogger Gil said...

Good luck with TI. I hope that by normal they mean what one would expect to be normal and not some concocted TI idea of normal!

That's a wonderful quote from Wendell Berry. Great title, too.

Good luck in producing a quality word count that pleases you! And good luck with your internet connection -- I suspect that is harder to accomplish than the writing.

Anonymous andie summerkiss said...

Great exerpt and very inspirational. Gave me a new perception of writing and reading. A piece of writing is truly successful when read by readers conveys different meaning to each reader.

Blogger Roam2Rome said...

Ah, we could always use inspiration!

Hey, isn't it almost your one year blog anniversary? It's coming up!

Blogger BipolarLawyerCook said...

Wow, indeed. Keep on writing, you're one of the inspiring ones.

Also, I give you dispensation to back-post if your connection is iffy. I have just annointed myself a NaNoBlo moderator.

Brilliant extract from Wendell Berry.
And keep going with NaNo - congrats on already making over 11 000 words!

Anonymous My Melange said...

Wow is a grat description! Wow! Good luck with the internet connection!

Blogger Fango said...

Grazie, ST. Una selezione eccellente. E vero che Wendell e un saggio. In bocca al lupo con la scrittura - dai dai!

Blogger Taffiny said...

Oh, and just when I thought I was catching up to you!

Well Sognatrice, you are proving to be very motivating. As my little ass, trots along trying to reach the dangling carrot of your word totals. (actual size of my donkey is debatable, but I for one, have no intention of calling it big.)

And I will not think about trying to make my writing all those wonderful clay shaping, sensuous sensuist things. Not untill December anyway.

The upside of a down connection, would be getting more writing done. Unlike me, who is happily busy blog blabbing babbling.

That IS wow!

Can't wait to read more.
Write on, my friend... write on.

Sending lots of encouragement and best wishes!

...do we get to read it when you are done?


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Blogger Shameless said...

Yes, you're right to say wow! :-)

Blogger somepinkflowers said...

we are
all still
here...

even without your graphic!

that %^&* connection...

:-)

carry on...

Wow, that's a beautiful excerpt! Thanks for sharing!

Blogger qualcosa di bello said...

i'm really appreciating this link right about now!! thanks for the lead...

Blogger Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I wish your connection luck and you luck with your connection. And lovely quote from Berry.

Blogger Karina said...

That was indeed very inspirational! I'm looking forward to more tidbits from you.

I'm now back up to a little over 7,000 words on my NaNovel...after the crash last week, it's been slow going rebuilding, but hopefully from here on out, the word count will grow. But every bit of inspiration certainly helps.

Blogger sognatrice said...

*NYC, it's a great piece--although a bit long definitely worth the time; lots of interesting thoughts there.

*Maryann, grazie mille :)

*Wenda, thanks!

*Gil, hah! It's all a matter of interpretation, isn't it?

*Hearts, right now I'm just concentrating on getting words on the computer; quality comes later ;)

*Andie, glad you enjoyed!

*Roam, yes--December 4 is the big day. Same as P's birthday so I can't forget either one :)

*BLC, thanks so much for the encouragement and permission to backpost ;)

*AV & A, thanks; I'm still a-writing!

*Robin, glad you enjoyed :)

*Fango, thanks for the continued support :)

*Taffiny, ah, if only the down connection translated into another 10,000 words; maybe now that it's tentatively back, I can concentrate again ;)

*Scarlett, hmm, *someday* I hope everyone will get to read it :)

*Shameless, I just didn't even know what else to say!

*SPF, so glad that you're still here; thank you so much for your support, as always :)

*Miss Mrs, glad you liked it!

*Qualcosa, prego :)

*Jen, thanks for the good wishes; happy you enjoyed the quote too :)

*Karina, I think of your crash every now and again and get frustrated for you all over. What a horrible glitch to throw into NaNo!

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