One sentence

Last week I went to a writer’s workshop. I’ve been to many and I always come out with something. A new skill, a new thought, a brainwave moment.

But last week I came out with something extraordinary.

One sentence.

The woman who ran the workshop read some of her writing to us. It was deeply moving. As she started reading, maybe it was her voice which was so filled with emotion, a lump developed in my throat.

And as she continued, I started crying.

Not just crying, weeping. Her words were exceptional. But painful.

‘How did you do it?’, I asked at the end. ‘How did you ever manage to get those astonishingly beautiful but such difficult words on paper?’

She told me it had been the hardest thing she had ever done. But that someone had once given her brilliant advice.

Write one sentence a day.

Just one. And it will be difficult. But you will find that after thirty days, thirty sentences is quite a lot. And then it slowly gets easier to write two a day. Then three. Until you’re ready to write it all.

It was such good advice and I feel eternally grateful.

I have a story, a difficult story, that I cannot write. I’ve tried, so many times, and each time I delete.  I get overwhelmed with emotion.

Today I wrote my first sentence. It was hard. It may take ten years for me to write the story that I have inside. The only one that I really want to tell.

Tears were streaming down my face as I wrote it.

But I’m so glad that I have begun.

Eternally grateful.

one

http://highveldreadingandwritingstudios.com

20 thoughts on “One sentence

  1. I started like that. it was 4th grade after a move and being both a jock and a geek and came into a school where everyday was fight the new kid day. I wrote everyday. I did school and homework before the end of each class. I was in the principal’s office for getting into fights and writing and they made a play out of my writings. It felt like forever. I understand what you mean. I wrote this as a start to get possible clients, however my audience is not local. It took months to realize I should just write and did. it has been 3 months of being different.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Violet. It was wonderful of you to come to my studio at Her Majesteas Salon, thank you. And it’s warming to my lonely writer’s heart that my work touched you. That’s what we want to isn’t it? To touch other people with our words.

    I wanted to say a bit more about the one sentence a day trick. It’s actually three sentences a day. Sorry! One sentence of your story. One sentence of a memory, any memory, a minute ago or 30 years ago. And one sentence of your most recent dream. Of course, you can write one sentence a day. But bringing in the memory material and the dream material helps to support your poor mind in its struggle to give form to something difficult. Many of the lines in my story came from dreams and memories. I gave them to the story when I started editing my collection of sentences. (Do you know exciting it is when after not too long the accumulation of sentences becomes evident! You’re writing even though you’re not really writing! And generally each and every sentence is lovely, because you write it paying attention. It’s not scribbling notes. It’s writing one proper sentence: that takes the story forward a skip or a waddle or a mile, that captures a detail of a memory, that records a moment in a dream) I gave the dream and memory material to one or the other character, or to the narrator. I used the images. Our unconscious minds … oh! they make the most amazing connections if only we will let them. My dreams and memories, apparently unrelated to my story, gave me the story.

    Or rather a story. The story that the story wanted to be. It came out so differently from what I had imagined, in form and even in content. But do you know what came out true? The feeling. The feelings. And I think that’s what you responded to with your beautiful, open heart. Three sentences a day – the discipline of forcing yourself to write the next line of a story you know you must tell, supported by the gifts of your unconscious, your imagination – become the words that the story tells you it needs for you to tell it.

    You have inspired me to hunt out the journal I wrote the three sentences in. If it’s not all too dire, I will consider posting them with the finished piece on my blog.

    I am not writing at all at the moment, and I want to be. Will I write three sentences tomorrow? You have inspired me to. Will you?

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  3. Interesting fact I’ve just learned. This relates to Karen’s method. Within 5 minutes of waking up, 50% of your dreams is forgotten. Within 10 minutes, 90% is gone. So, this means I will have to wake up 10 minutes earlier. It also means there will be a whole lot of seriously random shit. Like last nights bizarre one. Metro cops using crates of natural rubber packed across the highway under Marlboro bridge as a deterrent to speedsters. And swapping the front half of dogs with the back half of cats???????? I think I may have some issues!!!! Oh, and my dad and I hugging again. That was a nice, warm, fuzzy dream.

    Like

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