Natural Heat — Get Weird with It

Hello everyone! It’s Sadina here, one of the Opus co-editors. This month is so exciting because Opus has so many events scheduled!

Next week, Tuesday April 5th at 8 pm in Winants Auditorium (Graves Hall) there will be a reading from our beloved professors themselves with pizza and conversation after. The professors reading include:
Jesus Montano
Susanna Childress
Rob Kenagy
Priscilla Atkins
Pablo Peschiera
Brandon Krieg
Greg Rappleye
David James
This is going to be a really fun time, so come one, come all! It’s right after the grad school panel, so hurrah for English events! Here’s the poster for it:
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The next Tuesday is a Student Reading! We invite you all to email Opus if you’re interested and we’ll write your name down for reading. This will take place at 7pm in the Depree Art Gallery. There will be snacks, art, and fun. Anyone can read anything (remember, there will be professors there, so keep that in mind before you read anything you’ll regret) and we ask that you limit your reading time to five minutes.
THE LAST EVENT, THE ULTIMATE EVENT, THE BEST EVENT … okay, so maybe not the best, but it’s pretty exciting for Opus … is Opus Soup! This will take place (you guessed it) on Tuesday, April 26th at 7pm in the Martha Miller Rotunda. Opus Soup is the release of the Spring 2016 edition where the artists will share their work and we can celebrate with everyone. There will be snacks and conversation after.
Okay, enough PR. Now for the blog. In one of my creative writing class taught by Dr. Susanna Childress (Prof C as she’s lovingly referred to), she passed around lavender oil and told us to put some on our wrists. Then, she had us pick a spot on the floor, turned off the lights, turned on The Hours soundtrack, and had us write for about twenty minutes. The challenge was to focus on our white hot center, to get to the heat of our writing as much as we could before the time was out. It sounds weird, and it kind of was, but it was also beautiful and now I want to do it every time I write. What I’m getting to with this is that Prof C reminded me that authors have several habits that help them write.
When Tim O’Brien came to campus, he talked about how he’ll “write crap” until he felt like he got to something good, then he wouldn’t move until he felt like he had most of it down. He mentioned how important it is to take time to get into the writer’s mindset, because we don’t want to write about nothing, we want to write about what hurts and write it well. He said for every novel he has that he feels is successful, he’s written at least five novels that he has thrown away.
Louise Erdrich said that she would tie herself to her chair with scarves so all she could reach was the keyboard. She wrote and wrote, finally untying herself when she feels like she’s getting to something good.
I read once that Truman Capote couldn’t think unless he was lying down, so he would stretch out on a couch or the floor to write, calling himself the “horizontal author.”
David James Poissant said that he spends at least four hours every day writing, and he won’t leave his desk until the four hours are up, but sometimes those four hours turn into 12.
The point is, writer’s have their weird writing habits. The moral of the story: do whatever you need to in order to get yourself to create. Find a reward system, tie yourselves to the chair with scarves, only write next to a candle and don’t stop until it burns out, anything that makes you reach your white hot center. Create until you feel the heat, then create some more.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you at some (or all – what?) the Opus events! Keep writing, keep creating!
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**Images courtesy of Google images**

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