Write Now Newsletter – November 2003

by | Nov 3, 2003 | Write Now Columbus Essay Archives

“Structure is everything.”

– Natalie Goldberg

Buenos Dias Writers:

I’m visiting northern New Mexico. Even here in the wild wild west, life has structure. The sun rises over the mesa and sets like fire behind Tres Piedres. At the Taos Diner, the wait staff serve huevos rancheros and tamales smothered with your choice of red or green chile. The galleries open promptly at 11:00AM, unless they don’t, and the tourists arrive on the shuttle from the airport in Albuquerque. Life has its rhythm.

It is the same with my writing. Each piece has a structure that reveals itself to me as I work. The structure of meeting regularly with others to write and read aloud, teaching classes and making time to write by myself at a coffeehouse keeps my pen moving across the page. Natalie Goldberg’s technique of “writing practice” prevents that harsh committee of voices inside my head from stopping me in my tracks.

Although these structures work today, they may not work tomorrow. After I complete a piece, I start over from scratch. I’ll never find a permanent perfect groove. Still, without these simple structures, I would sit on the sofa, eat the leftover Halloween candy and not write.

What is your structure? Is it working? If not, are you willing to try something new? The best structure is the one that works for you, no matter what it looks like. You be the judge.

Nita(pass the guacamole)Sweeney
(c) 2003 by Nita Sweeney

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