Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sometimes writing is like fixing oatmeal and then realizing you're out of sugar

Whenever I feel like I have nothing to write about (like every time I open my journal), I remember that a true writer can transform the mundane into magic. The late Canadian author, Carole Shields, was a master at that and her "Stone Diaries" is still one of my favorite reads. Yet, if someone pesters me to know what it's about, I'm stuck saying, "It's about an ordinary person leading an ordinary life, but somehow she makes it extraordinary."

I think the change from ordinary to extraordinary comes when the author can truly see the situation through the scrim of the characters' emotions.

But I also think that this is the key to seeing your own life as extraordinary.

After nearly a year at it, I can safely say that the more I blog and the more I probe how I think and feel about things, the more I see my ordinary life as magical.

23 comments:

S. said...

Wow...so well said. I never really thought about it but it is sooo true.

When I write I am always thinking about how I could say that better or what was i thinking. I am MUCH more aware of my thoughts and emotions now than I was when i started this whole blogging adventure.

I hit my one year mark about 4 months ago...speaking of which...I would LOVE to get a postcard from you for my 1 year blogaversay blog!!! ;)

Snooze said...

I don't think everyone has the ability to make the day to day seem interesting - but you do.

Sunshine said...

Very insightful post. :) Delicately yet tersely articulated. Very enjoyable. :)

Kevin said...

Brilliant, as always.

(And FYI - my site is messed up -- it disappeared on its own, I didn't quit it.)

Ryan said...

awesome post!

S said...

Nice. I liked what you had to say.
:)

Christie said...

I look forward to the posts of your "ordinary" life everyday :-)

Jason said...

Your blog is the first one I read every morning. I love the extraordinary ordinary that you write about.

Kevin said...

(fixed, thanks)

Normlr said...

I liked that. Very well put. And inspirational.

GayProf said...

I am glad you share your life with us.

Pete Mitchell said...

You are so right. Most of the world's greatest literature, fictional and non-fictional, comes from stories about ordinary people just struggling to get by. And it's all about character. I remember reading a quote once that paraphrased (poorly) stated the best reads don't answer 'what happens next'; but 'how is the character going to respond in a certain situation'.

And you're right, I've almost hit the first year blogging anniversary too; and it does make you probe deeper into the minutae of your own life; and appreciate the magic that comes from the little things.

And you also happen to write extraordinarily well, which helps. You make us laugh one day, and think the next. It's extremely difficult to jump between the two. Pat yourself on the back.

(And before you fall completely asleep, I don't normally sound this pompous.)

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

Beautiful!

Keep it up! :>)

dirk.mancuso said...

Like I needed another reason to read your blog everyday...and then you post this. So well expressed.

Take care.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

Dear Tornwordo,
so beautiful. just find the feeling. We all read these things to try to connect with a human heart. And when we find one, it changes our own.
The heart is a lonely hunter, until we find that for which we are hunting, because it is that which is hunting for us.
thanks,
DEL

DEL

toobusyliving said...

Yes, well put. What did Wilde say?

"WE are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

Patricia said...

i can't make oatmeal if i'm out of (brown) sugar. or raisins. or skim milk. i'm high maintenance when it comes to oats. and i'm okay with that. and while i could sustain myself with the packets of the instant stuff, i'd rather be hungry than take the fast, easy route. it isn't nearly as satisfying.

and yeah, i'm comparing life to oatmeal. but see... you inspired that.

magical, indeed.

CoffeeDog said...

Thanks for sharing your magic!

The Persian said...

I couldn't agree more. My style has evolved in the 10 months since I started my blog. This was partly because I knew little of blogging in the beginning, and was actually using it as a medium to keep organized on a mission to become free of Cigarettes, alcohol and fat. Then suddenly people started reading what I had to say and I began to get creative and my posts tripled in length. Suddenly I was loving the daily post instead of dreading it. Imagine how awful I feel now that 3/4 of my posts are lost forever.

Anyway, great post buddy :)

Chunks said...

I should read some Carol Shields, I see her books and never pick them up! Do they have dull covers?

Our lives are magical, it's truly a wonder that any of us are here at all in this life.

just call me jeff said...

Nice work, tiger. Keep it up!

dawn said...

David Blaine type of "magical"?

Cause we better not see you hanging out in a snowglobe anytime soon.

Might make for a good blog entry though.

The Lone Beader said...

"I also think that this is the key to seeing your own life as extraordinary." WOW! You have given me inspiration to keep going with my own blog. Thanks so much:) ~Diana