Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blood from Turnips

Blood from a turnip, blood from a stone...no matter from what you are metaphorically trying to squeeze blood, sometimes it just ain't gonna happen.

I've felt like this sometimes. I put my kid in his jogging stroller, grab my ipod and jogging shoes, and hit the trails ready to be inspired, or to at least get some ideas for the next chapter. But recently, nothing has been coming to me. Nothing. Blood from a turnip.

So I've learned the importance of fallowing. I'm not an English major, so I don't know if putting an -ing on the end of the word fallow is correct, but lets just say for our purposes it is.

The definition of Fallow brought to you by my good friends at dictionary.com-
Land that has undergone plowing and harrowing and has been left unseeded for one or more growing seasons.

Farmers sometimes let plots of land fallow or rest for a season. Overworked land produces poor crops. An overworked mind produces crappy writing. I think of my brain as a field sometimes, and not just because it's full of dirt and bugs. But the field of my head sometimes needs to rest. Sometimes I've squeezed everything out of it. I need to fallow.

During the writing process, I've learned to trust myself enough to walk away, to let my head rest. Let the characters marinate in my brain. When I come back after my season of fallowing, I find that my brain is no longer a turnip, but a field ready to give an excellent growing season.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I know i probably seem like a creeper, but hey, I'm a writer, too. xD I'm just a high school senior but i know how this process feels.

    Right now i'm supposed to be studying for an AP Environmental Science test. Let me tell you, writing and school (or work at ALL) is tough, but one thing that is amazing and you might not even realize it sometimes is that the stuff you don't even notice gets into your writing.

    I wanted to comment because your mention of 'fallow' reminded me of what i need to be studying (all about agriculture and soils and lovely crap like that- GREEN REVOLUTION). Well.....just the word FALLOW is inspiration.

    I realized it the other day when i was writing, i looked in my APES notes just to find a word that i couldn't remember but i KNEW had to be in my story. And of course there's always dictionary.com! Words are so inspirational.

    I hope you don't mind that i'm following your blog, but reading what other writers say is so important too! TV, books, movies, everything helps. Even blog comments. xD

    I wish you luck on your novel! If you haven't heard of this check out NaNoWriMo.com. It also has a link some where for a WHOLE bunch of monthly writing sites that put pressure on you in the form of a deadline and can either make you break down or rush for the finish line like you wouldn't believe. :O

    I know for a fact it's FAWM. or February Album Writing Month. For musicians or poets or lyricists...there is so much to learn just browsing the internet.

    Also, one more thing. Sporcle.com AMAZING. I love the photography section. I have gotten SO much from this site (and the one's it sponsers) It's worth your time to look at it. From one writer (if young) to another!

    Peace!

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