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26 Words Every Writer Needs: Q #atozchallenge - Corinne O'Flynn

1. the quality of being quiet or still or inactive


Have you ever tried to sit totally still? I mean, like totally still with your eyes closed and only your heart and lungs moving? Have you ever done that for long periods of time?  I sat in on a session at the SCBWI conference in LA where Clare Vanderpool, author of the fabulous Moon Over Manifest, spoke about her process. She shared how she sits for periods with a notebook and pen and just lets her mind shut down and open up.

Listening to her talk, I felt so connected to her experience. Not the quiet sitting… no way! But like me, she has four kids. And like me, she took a long time to write her first book. So when I got home I thought, perhaps I should try to sit and let the stillness be my guide. It was very distracting at first.  It’s *hard* to sit totally still.  But after a few tries, I found it was possible to do it. I wish I could share that I got a deluge of amazing ideas. I didn’t. But I have come away with images of scenes, story solutions, and a few little gems.

Sometimes I find free writing is the key, sometimes a walk, and sometimes I just need to sit still and think.

As an aside, she shared something interesting that might speak to those of you out there who (like me) feel impatient and have this sense of urgency about getting your work published. She said, and I paraphrase… that had she finished the book in a year, it wouldn’t have been the same book as it is today. That’s something I think about all the time.

Bonus Q words for writers: quietude, quip, quaff < –when things get bad.

About the Author Corinne

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  1. I’m curious to try that technique, but I’m also pretty sure I’d fall asleep. I’d have to do it in bed because that seems to be the one place I have trouble falling asleep (not good when I need to sleep for the night. =)

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