Writing 101

During a recent Five Minute Friday Twitter Party, a topic of discussion was about getting ready to write and writing effectively. When I taught my Writing 101 class, participants wanted to know the same thing. How do I begin.

My flippant — but honest — answer was, “Just write.” It doesn’t have to be the beginning; it has to be a launching point. You capture the moment’s thought and fill in the gaps later — or as one of my Twitter comrades stated she writes a few critical scenes “then write connective tissue from beginning to the end.

I am an advocate of the “everyone has a story” camp, but I also recognize people don’t write for a singular reason. In addition to the plethora of genres available, there are just as many audiences. I emphasized that to my students. Not every piece of writing is intended as a novel. More often the audience is smaller and more focused, like in blogging. And it isn’t unusual to write for an audience of one — either as a prayer journal for God or an everyday journal to monitor your personal progress. All, however, begin with that first word, that first sentence, that first paragraph, that story flow.

Writing doesn’t have to be daunting and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s an exercise that sharpens the mind and mines the rich resources stored in our brains. Once the words flow, we can reconstruct them using the “rules” of grammar, punctuation, tense and context. That’s editing — which, by the way, is never done. I’ve already {hopefully} polished some of my text as I expand Heaven Shining Through from a novella to a novel. And I wouldn’t be surprised if, after it is actually published, I start saying “I wish I would have said this;” or “That could have been explained better;” or “What in the world was I thinking?” as I read it in print. {That happened after reading my “final” galley proofs, necessitating a few rewrites, much to the chagrin of my publisher.}

It all comes down to communication, whether the project is the next best great American novel; a local post; or even a press release. Writing is nothing more than communicating your thoughts to others through words. Sentences, paragraphs, characters, plots, sub-plots and themes are just tools.

Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, but always remember your audience.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. — Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

 

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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4 Responses to Writing 101

  1. I wish WordPress didn’t do this. My password  never works. My comment  below.

    You are being asked to login because janeanderson2020@gmail.com is used by an account you are not logged into now.

    By logging in you’ll post the following comment to Writing 101:

    I appreciate this post. I’m guilty of wondering why don’t write. I have wanted to be a writer since age 10. God gave me multiple jobs as a technical writer, but that was just the rehearsal for what I was called to write. I’ve been retired for 5 years. I write less now than I ever have. Just write. That’s the best advice I could ever received. I wish it would find its way from my head to my heart.

    WordPress.com / Gravatar.com credentials can be used.

    ⁣Sent from Blue ​

  2. Bruce R. Matthew says:

    Hi Joe

    “Just write” is very good advice. When I was in school, I tried to write an essay, and it seemed to come out awkward and klutzy. But in my later years, I began to write from my heart, my feelings, my instincts, and it seemed to come out much better. I would write, and the words just seemed to flow. I discovered a new talent that I didn’t even know I had. Some people have told me I have the “gift of words”. The ability to write articulately.

    My advice to everyone out there is to take Joe’s suggestion. “Just write”. Write from your heart and soul. In time, the ability to express yourself will come to you.

    Bruce

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