What do you see?

Summer is a good time to take it slow and observe closely.

Do you notice something in the fence shadows above?  Yes, a bird family. Nine baby quail with their mom and dad.  That vignette was this week’s hiking treat for me.

This week’s writing treat for you is the beginning of the promised more or less weekly posting of writing advice and suggested prompts.  Today’s bit comes by way of Poets & Writers feature, “The Time is Now.”

The Polaroid
posted 5.31.12

In Bird by Bird (Pantheon, 1994), Anne Lamott’s classic instructional treatise on writing and life, the author says: “Writing a first draft is very much like watching a Polaroid develop. You can’t—and, in fact, you’re not supposed to—know exactly what the picture is going to look like until it has finished developing.” Keeping this in mind, write the beginnings of an essay whose direction and ending you don’t yet know. Start small, focusing closely on a single place, person, or incident, without thinking ahead. Then keep going: Allow the writing to tell the story, and see what develops.
If you’re in any way pleased with your practice, go ahead and post it here as a comment, or put it up on your own blog if you’re still maintaining it.
See?  How beautiful the world.

About Catherine Keefe

Catherine Keefe is the founding and managing editor of *dirtcakes* a journal of poetry, creative nonfiction, art and photography. Her creative nonfiction essays, interviews and book reviews have appeared nationally. She teaches undergraduates how to Write About Literature, or Write Creative Nonfiction, or Compose Self at Chapman University in Orange, CA.
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