Hi.

Welcome to
Transactions with Beauty.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and relax. 
Thanks for being here.
And remember, 
you are required to make something beautiful.

- Shawna

 

 

The Obvious Advice

The Obvious Advice

Today I'm going to offer a little writing advice, but you could possibly use it for whatever you're making. I think most of the best advice I've gotten about writing has been pretty obvious, but that also: the most obvious stuff is what I most needed to hear at certain times. There's no shortage of profound and nuanced and even funny books on writing and the internet has a wealth of inspiration, too. One of my favourite places is The Aerogramme Writers' Studio. So you might like to start there.

But here is the very simple advice I've been giving myself lately: you're the only one who can write what you're working on at present. And you will only be in this particular moment, with the exact set of skills and awareness that you have right now. If you were to write this same thing in a year from now, or if you had tried five years ago - it would turn out differently. Now is the time to write. You must hurry, slowly.

This is also why you must discover the pace, and stay true to whatever rhythm that the work sets for you, demands of you. You might remember Virginia Woolf's words, as well: "Style is a very simple matter; it is all rhythm. Once you get that, you can't use the wrong words."

But writing has much in common with photographing a flower.

And this is why on those days when other things might call to you or feel worthy of your time and attention you must remember your devotion to your art. You must heed its call foremost. Admittedly, this sounds a bit precious. But writing has much in common with photographing a flower. Tomorrow the petals will have faded, the light will not be the same, there will be drooping. 

What was it that Clarice Lispector said about this? 

What am I doing in writing you? I’m trying to photograph perfume.
— Clarice Lispector

And:

I want to write you as one who is learning. I photograph each instant.
— Clarice Lispector

There is only one now and the rhythm of now is fleeting, fleeting, dear writers, like the scent of flowers in winter. 

Re-reading Gilead, Reading Birds Art Life

Re-reading Gilead, Reading Birds Art Life

Elegance and the Questions of Your Life

Elegance and the Questions of Your Life