3 Writerly Things I Notice

#1. Writing in Movies 

The other day I was watching a romance movie that you could say had nothing to do with writing. As always, I tend to find the writerly things in movies.

In the movie, a woman gets a heart transplant. A year later, she sends a letter of thanks to the family of the donor.

This letter later played an important part in the story. The woman found the letter in the house of the man she’d fallen in love with. When she found this letter, she realized that his deceased wife had been her heart donor. 

I love the reminder that writing isn’t just important in book writing. Writing is everywhere, and it’s just as meaningful and powerful.

#2. Car Plates 

What stands out to me about daily driving are car license plates. I like finding the personalized license plates with words or shortened versions of words or phrases.

The last two that I found were “Sundown” and “Snacks”. I have no idea why the drivers chose these words for their car plates. I’m always left wondering why their chosen word is meaningful to them.

The two most memorable plates that I’ve found to date are versions Betty Boop and the Beatles. Even though I never saw the driver’s face, with just one word, I felt that I could connect with the driver of the Beatles car. I wouldn’t mind singing along to a Beatles song with them.

#3. Fortune Cookies

My opinion of fortune cookies is conflicted because the magic of the fortune cookie disappears when I get the same fortune cookie message I’ve gotten before.

The magic of the fortune cookie also disappears when the fortune cookie message isn’t well written, fun, or too vague. Messages like these usually don’t add a special quality to what I’m going through.

Sometimes I need signs or confirmations of the things going on my life or hope for the future. I know this sounds silly, but I do.

A couple of the most recent messages I’ve read say “Be daring. Try something new” and “You are only starting your path to success”. Who doesn’t need to hear these words every now and then?

I’m really curious to know, how have you found writerly things in your life?

Are Your Writing Drafts Just as Valuable as the Final Draft?

lion-1214837_1920I walked through my local art museum a couple weeks ago and saw a Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro collection. I was struck by seeing drafts of the same etchings side by side. I expected to only see the final versions. The information box said that the artists, “gave their working process much greater visibility” by showcasing the revisions of the same etching.

I wondered how can this valuing of revisions apply to writing?

As a poet, I love reading the revisions and edits that well-known poets make in their poems. They sometimes share their writing process on Twitter. No matter the differences between these poets’ and my successes in poetry, I relate to them when I see how writing is a process for them.

When we only see writers’ final writing products, the readers (who are also writers) for the most part, don’t get to see the writer’s journey. Sometimes I forget that even the most successful writers also revise their writing. 

Continue reading