Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dear Journal - cross-training

My NaBlo posts are in the form of letters to my journal about my revision process. Along the way, I'll include Home-Made Revision Workshop posts, and my Friday Challenges.

Dear Journal,
Do you believe in cross-training? I do. Firmly. I know when I was training to do the Dublin Marathon, I had just started dating the dear guy, and he would take me paddling in the canoe. It was good for my concentration, for my upper body strength, and my stick-to-it-ness.
A few years ago I took up oil painting for a couple of years - took lessons, painted. It was heaven. I'd done it when I was younger but not in a concentrated way. I found I learned many helpful techniques that translated to writing. For instance I learned that you had to work on all parts of the canvas at once, if you wanted a balanced painting. That is helpful in revision work - if I don't watch it I'll get one piece (the beginning??!) pitch perfect. Trouble is, it won't be like anything else I'm doing.
Now I'm doing contemplative photography. That is a practice I trained in about 12 years ago and did the practice fairly regularly for a number of years. I still consider myself a Miksang photographer (that's one term for it) but my practice had gotten sloppy. How is it good for my writing practice. One thing for sure - it is about recognizing a perception and forming the equivalent. That is what I'm doing with my novels. I have something I'm trying to get across - I have to continue to remember what it is and then take away anything that isn't it!
I guess, when I get right down to it, everything I do is training for something else I do - or adds to it. My gardening and chicken raising, my relationship to my dog, cooking, baking, knitting, my work with clients, my sitting practice, my dear guy, all of it - is for all of it.
Well, in that vein, dear journal, I will not be revising for four days. I'll be having a murderous good time up in Cape Breton at the Keltic Lodge. But while I'm there, I'll be scouting out locations for my mysteries. Kitty MacDonald would love to head up there to solve a case, I'm sure!
I'll be pre-posting these letters and I'll report when I get home.
a painting of a friend enjoying the sun on the boat roof, yep with a stubby....


Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Such a good point about cross-training! Sharpening our perceptions and our ability to carry a project through can come in all sorts of ways. And there's the added advantage that doing varied things brings. It's a lot more interesting than doing just one :-).

Jan Morrison said...

Margot - I think so too. And I love a creative project, whatever its genesis.

lissa said...

you do such wonderful things to excercise your body and mind. I would not have thought of traveling to find location for writing. have a great trip!