Monday, May 30, 2016

It's All Copy

From Kate’s Writing Crate…

          Time is a funny thing. It seems to pass slowly while we wait for birthdays and holidays or winter to be over, but days fly by as we rush around working and running errands while planning dinners and doing laundry. Years pile up and before we know it we receive reunion invitations with numbers we can hardly believe.

          However, the biggest jolt in time for me is when children of friends who live far away who I remember in baby bonnets or first grade are now driving or going to college. How could that much time have passed?

          These children seem to have spent their time well. They have learned to walk and talk and read and write. They are graduating, moving, and preparing for careers.

          Has my time been as well spent?

          There aren’t as many milestones after graduation except new job titles and possible marriage and/or parenthood. For writers: pages written, assignments completed, and pieces and books published.

          Happiness and satisfaction are good indicators. Stay the course if you are happy and satisfied; shake things up if not. Trying something new can be fun in either situation.

          What we do need to remember in the end is that life is short. Writer and director Nora Ephron, who died a few of years ago, was on a clip from Charlie Rose’s show in her son’s tribute documentary, It’s All Copy, discussing that you know what you want for your last meal but you never know when you’re going to die so have that meal soon. Good advice—plus it answers the everyday question of what’s for dinner!

          "It’s all copy" is a phrase Ephron’s mother, a screenwriter, used to say whenever life didn’t work out as planned. Ephron also noted everything you see, feel, and hear is fair game.

          Don’t just write what you know. Write about what catches your eye, gives you goosebumps, or sparks an interest.

                   We do not write in order to be understood,

we write in order to understand.

                             --C. Day-Lewis

I am rewritten by what I write.

                             --Robert Grudin

          Life is short so write whatever you want whenever you can wherever you are.

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