Silk’s Post #131 — Two of the greatest letters in the alphabet: RE. They’re magic. Adding this little prefix to every imaginable action verb reminds us that life is full of do-overs.
There is a huge collection of old saws, clichés, quips – whatever you prefer to call truths we all know but nevertheless have to remember again and again – that elaborate on the power of restarting …
- If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
- It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.
- Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries. — James A. Michener
- If you never fail, you’re not trying hard enough.
- Never, never, never give in! — Winston Churchill
- A few fly bites cannot stop a spirited horse. — Mark Twain
- It’s never too late to start over.
- Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. — Vince Lombardi
- It’s like deja-vu, all over again. — Yogi Berra
- Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. — Babe Ruth
- It always seems impossible until it’s done. — Nelson Mandela
- Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
- It’s always too soon to quit. — Norman Vincent Peale
- If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer. — R.A. Salvatore
So, that’s what we did this past weekend.
At our 5/5/5 writers’ retreat, we reconnected with our writing colleagues, recharged our batteries, renewed our commitment to the writing life, resurrected old manuscripts, revived our enthusiasm … but mainly, we took step one again: we just wrote some stuff.
5writer Paula (who herded us cats), her ever supportive husband, John (who baked us cookies), and her entertaining poodles (who took us for beach walks), were hosts extraordinaire. We ate well, slept well, read to each other, drank a little wine and a lot of coffee, and thoroughly got our heads into writing.
If it must be quantified, we did pretty well production-wise. I think Joe did about 20 pages of wow. Karalee rewrote her opening scene twice; she aced the last version. Paula went berserk and wrote at least 30 pages on a brand new story. I wrote one of my main character’s mysterious backstory, desperately needed to drive the whole plot – 10 pages of blood, sweat and tears. Helga continues with her journal. She is our saint for finding time to join us and for keeping her writing close to her heart.
More important, by miles, is the qualitative measure of our writers’ retreat. We’re excited. Can’t put a measure on that. It’s too huge. The proof? We’re getting back into a schedule of monthly cyber-critiquing. Just to keep us honest.
We’re back, baby!