Just Write

Rebecca Lawton Week

This is “Rebecca Lawton Week” on The Write Spot Blot. Today’s inspiration for “Just Write” is from her book, Reading Water, Lessons from the River:

The water-level fluctuations, both daily and seasonal, gave us regular lessons in how the river varied depending on flow. The thalweg, or deepest or best navigable channel, didn’t always follow a direct path. On one key day early in my training, I followed a boatman friend named John through the long, straight, placid reach of the Stanislaus below Razorback Rapids. As I rowed down the middle of the river, choosing the course where the main flow had been weeks before, I noticed John’s boat meandering from one side of the river to the other. He kept his hands on the oars but barely exerted himself, simply using the oars to adjust his boat’s position on the water surface. He moved briskly downstream through the calms with little effort. Even as I rowed steadily to keep up, he beat me by finding the strongest flow and doing the bare minimum to stay on it.

“It’s true,” John told me later. “You’ve just got to use the current. It’ll carry you if you don’t fight it.”

Water.BreanaNote from Marlene: Sometimes our writing meanders, like John and his boat, and that’s just fine. Find the current in your writing. Let your mind wander and let your freewrite take you on a meandering route and you might find the rhythm for your best creative writing. Just Write!

Photo by Breana Marie.

Click here for Rebecca Lawton’s website.

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2 comments

  1. Kathy Myers

    This piece is a wonderful metaphor for living a life of ease— by that I don’t mean rich or lazy but finding the organic current (which can change from day to day) and placing your vessel there. I once sailed with a friends up the delta in a boat with a deep keel. They had to be constantly vigilant with depth maps, and observation to prevent going aground— time and energy wasted during what could have been a relaxing trip. And worse yet, there are those who fight against the current and end up bereft of energy.How much better to cruise along with a shallow keel— free to beach yourself wherever the tide takes you or stay at sea.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Kathy, I love your keen sense of paying attention to detail. You have a fabulous ability to observe and drill down to the essence. You wear the writer’s cloak well.

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