Our river of stones begins tomorrow. Find out more and join us…
A post from the archive by Fiona:
Writing can be a thorny business.
I’ve been doing it for many years now. I have four completed novels behind me, a book of poetry, a book of small stones, and a book of questions.
The blank page still scares the bejesus out of me. I sit down to write my work-in-progress and think ‘what am I doing thinking I can write? of all the deluded (mumble mumble)….’ I have avoided writing poems for almost a year now.
Maybe your small stones will leap eagerly and willingly into your laps, but if you’re like the rest of the human race you might also have occasional thoughts like this.
How can we continue when we’re convinced the whole project is pointless and that everything we ever write is utter rubbish? By taking a pen and writing a single word. And then another. Thank your doubts kindly for their input, and continue anyway. Reassure your critic that you WILL allow them out, when you have written your small stone and you want to start polishing it, but not until then.
Writing can be a thorny business. But then so is life. We are all in it together. The river of stones, and the river of life. We can encourage each other (do visit each other’s blogs next month and say what you like). We can take comfort in the knowledge that every single writer ever has had terrible doubts about what they’re doing. We can learn how to encourage ourselves, and get better at this as we go along. We can eat chocolate. We’ll be JUST fine. We start tomorrow.
Meet my friend Ruth.
Ruth is 32 and doesn’t know if she wants to be 33. She decides to write a journal for three months while she finds out. Her diary is my novel, Thaw.
In mid-July, Susan has arranged a Q&A session on the book. If you’d like to join in, just read the book by then and post your question on the forum here.
You can get the book from Amazon and keep this author in cake, and you can also read it for free online here.
When you’ve met Ruth, you can meet my other friends Leonard and Violet.
You can’t meet Joe yet, as he hasn’t got a publisher, and poor old April is waiting very patiently for me to get to her. When I get back from France, April, I promise : )
“…even on a material level, the other is a great mystery. When we struggle to relate to it, we fall back into personalised approximations. Keeping our sense of wonder and our willingness to encounter the other requires a special kind of reaching out.” Caroline Brazier
Why you should join the river: Because having a notebook, or a blog, and a vow to write one small stone in it each day can help you keep a sense of wonder about the world. Deciding to take part in the July challenge, to notice something each day and write about it, sets in motion that willingness to reach out – that willingness to really look and listen to the world – and to stand in awe.
Some days our sense of wonder will be clouded, and that’s okay and normal. The commitment to write something everyday can keep us going (and writing) through those cloudy days until the sun comes out again.
On the black river,
a pair of great-crested grebe nod
towards the ceremonies of spring.
Let us know if you want to join us. Put our beautiful badges on your blog, and share the joy on twitter and facebook (use the buttons at the bottom of this post).
Happy writing, see you in the river of stones!
I really look forward to getting back into focusing on the things around me. Too often we just get so caught up in the stress and chaos of our daily lives that we put off being observant. I really need the discipline of learning how to slow down and take a good look around me. The River of Stones was a wonderful exercise for me in January and hopefully I won’t stop after July.
~Mary-Jane, Cracked Sugar Bowl
Why everyone is joining the river: Like Mary-Jane, in January hundreds of people made a commitment to write a small stone every day. In July we’d like you to join us as we do the same again. To reach beyond yourself and notice one small thing each day, and to write it down.
We believe that it’s better to be connected to the world, than not to be. We believe that it’s better to notice the unnoticed, the weeds in the cracks in the pavement and the aphid on the bud of the rose, than to let them slip by. And we believe that writing can help us pay attention to, and become intimate with, the world.
It is like a bonus, the thirty-first day. Suddenly, no more fog. Blinding sun. Raging blue, and lacy wisps of cloud to prove the Earth hasn’t stopped in its tracks. Oh, wow. We are never still.
You can keep small stones in your paper notebooks and journals, or like hundreds of people did in January you could make a blog for them. Click here to find out how to let us know you’re taking part, and click here to dive in the river and see the small stones people have already started writing.
From the River of Stones blog.