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!
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.
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!
[tags] inspiration, wendell berry, the art of the commonplace, nanowrimo, nablopomo, 30 days of thanks[/tags]