March 30, 2011

Saturation, Part Three

Posted in Saturation tagged , at 10:38 am by Rebecca Hein

In playing the same piece many times, or re-reading your own work with an eye to polishing it, or re-reading your favorite novel, boredom is inevitable. Then we quit, casting around for a more interesting story or piece of music.

But we should go on with what we were doing. Boredom is only a stage in the long process of acquiring deep familiarity with our work or someone else’s.

If we don’t push through that tedium, we won’t get past it and on into the enviable state where our work is effortless and we are so at home with it that it feels like flying.


March 23, 2011

Saturation, Part Two

Posted in Saturation tagged at 10:34 am by Rebecca Hein

I’ve re-read so many books so many times that in some cases I’ve lost count. The resulting familiarity with plot, setting, and character allows me to notice the subtleties of story construction.

For example, in telling any story, whether fiction or nonfiction, it’s important to prepare the reader for coming events. A line, phrase, or paragraph filling in some slight detail of character or setting can help you launch a scene later when you don’t want to encumber the action with too much information.

In my extensive re-reading I’ve noticed this technique over and over again. Having found it in the work of others, I can more easily add it to my own.

March 16, 2011

Saturation, Part One

Posted in Saturation tagged , , , , at 10:29 am by Rebecca Hein

Saturation occurs when a musician practices for a performance, polishing the music beyond perfection. This level of work so immerses you in your material that your attention sinks below the details of playing every note and phrase. Then you can notice deeper elements, and your performance reflects this unconscious ease.

It’s the same in writing. Lavishing all your ability on a piece; reading and revising it so many times that you don’t even have to think about it, will give that project and your whole writing output a gloss and polish you can achieve in no other way.

March 9, 2011

The Virtue of More Than One Writing Project

Posted in Incubation tagged at 9:31 am by Rebecca Hein

The advantage of having at least two writing projects going at once is that when one isn’t flowing, you can turn to the other. The project you’ve tabled will benefit from that time off, and though you’ve put it aside, your unconscious mind is still working on it.

Since you have another project you can keep writing and thus stay in shape. In music the principle is the same: when the piece you’re working on feels stale, you can put it aside in favor of other music without getting out of practice.

March 8, 2011

Conference Call: Free Saturday Morning Discussion

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:38 pm by Rebecca Hein

Hello Everyone,

On Saturday March 12 at noon Eastern I’ll be hosting a 2-hour discussion via telephone conference call. The topic will be Wholeness in Writing, and I’ll begin with an account of how I’ve achieved this. Wholeness in writing occurs when you experience such deep and consistent flow that you forget everything else. There are no internal distractions.

The dial-in number is 712-432-0850. You will be prompted to enter an access code: 837954. The call will be recorded and the recording available until Wednesday March 16 at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Becky Hein

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