Friday, April 1, 2011

more to this story

I must admit I've been trying to finish a post about a couple rides I did last week to Knik Glacier. Yes, the same glacier I wasn't able to reach earlier in March. Here's the thing: I keep trying to describe it and I can't quite find the right words or the right form for the story. There's something missing.

Tonight I went to an author reading and Q&A at the museum. The featured author was Susan Orlean, and she was being interviewed by local reporter, Julia O'Malley. Susan talked about how she doesn't use the term "writer's block." She described the three steps of writing: reporting (gathering information), processing and writing. The first two steps are critical to accomplishing the third. If you're having a hard time writing a story, either you haven't collected enough information or you haven't processed the information thoroughly (very common, I'm sure). She suggested that it helps to have another person with whom to discuss the idea so that the story may come to form through conversation.

She took the solitary process of writing and turned it into something interactive; telling us to speak our stories and see how they develop, thus finding the heart of the story. Because sometimes we can only find the story through telling it and receiving feedback from a trusted listener. Someone who knows us and knows what matters to us.

There is a lesson. So, now I think about the two bike trips I took to Knik and I think to myself: either I need to talk with Jon about this experience again or I need to make one more trip. For the sake of research.


The Wisconsineer said...

Research! Yes! For the sake of Research!

Alaska's Dirt said...

Hey Rose...
I was at the Orlean talk and enjoyed her candor. Have you read her works? I need to peruse the library and check her out.
(BTW - Good meeting last night!)
Look forward to some good rides.