Blogging The Light Fantastic: Writing In Stages

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.
– James Michener

 

This post is not so much about blogging, as it is about writing. Of course, if you are a blogger, then you obviously write, so this post is for you. My aim here is to provide some insight into what we call the ‘writing process’. I’m sure you will agree it’s a creative process that sometimes turns chaotic, but there are ways of going about taming it, if you will. Mind you, although I tend to be a chaotic person, I’m also a teacher of English (when I’m not wearing a cape that is), so I can at least pass along what I ‘preach’ to my students.

Now to be honest, I wish there were an exact science as to how I write and develop content. Ideas come to me in chunks. Sentences form at random. Coherence and cohesion come hard. Therefore, one of the reasons I love blogging is that ‘writing’ on the computer has always come naturally for me. You see I’m not a very linear thinker, and as such it’s amazingly helpful for me to type up some ideas up, move them around, tryout different permutations of words and sentences, and then sort of fill-in the blanks between said sentences and ideas. Pencils and pens have become as useful to me as an extra pair of thumbs might be … on my feet. Yes, writing the old manual way is very frustrating for me, unless I’m writing song lyrics, ‘scat poetry’, a to-do list, or a shopping list.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Overcoming Writer’s Block: Because It Happens To Everyone

What a blockhead!

The truly great writer does not want to write.

He wants the world to be a place
in which he can live the life of the imagination.
– Henry Miller
One of my resolutions for next year is to write a bit more about writing, especially in terms of developing one’s creative spirit. Getting ideas and nurturing them into written form is always our main objective as writers. However, there are times when those usual soul lifting notions seem to flop about, inspiring nothing but stress, depression and lowered levels of self-esteem.
For a writer, there’s nothing worse than not getting ideas … except for maybe not getting paid! For a blogger, it’s pretty much the same thing. Face it: writer’s block happens to the best of us. Therefore, in the spirit of this season I thought I would share with you some of my own ideas stemming from my experience as a writer of various forms of ‘this, that and whatnot’.

Poetic License And The Beads of Sweat

These words ~
Where I leave the loose ends
Of my day with lazy boots
They yawn at me
Two round circles
Eager to let go of where I have been –
Looking back across my week
Words are all I have had
They answer my most uncomfortable questions
They dream with me
They sing with me –
– Nicole Rushin
(excerpt from: Before There Were Words)
Here at the Wooly Yarn, I am rapidly approaching the one year anniversary of this blog, having started it on December 31st, the last day of the year and the eve of the next. While balancing in that precarious moment of temporal limbo, I made a New Year’s resolution to try writing the equivalent of one post a week … with some possible time off for good behavior. As my next post represents my 50th, a milestone in its own right, I am safely well on my way to achieving this goal and then some.
Since we are also well into the Holiday Season, and since last week was Thanksgiving, I want to take a moment to reflect on and reply to a comment left by a fellow blogger, Nicole Rushin, who also happens to be a phenomenal poet. As such, I’d like to dedicate this post to her and the artful inspiration she provides at her blog, ‘Writing As Loud As I Can’. If there were ever a great name for a blog, that has to be it.

Artful Dodgers In The Blogosphere Mist

Spare us your wisdom
and send us your cash.
A twenty or a fifty …
… or something like that.
– Send Us Your Money (Judd Jugmonger)

Bloggers make for interesting sorts. Many start out as artists with their ‘craft’ in mind, and end up as marketers with ‘sales’ on their minds. The transmogrification of this species usually follows this pattern: I think therefore I am. I am therefore I create. I’m hungry. In fact, I’m starving. So, I create therefore I sell.

Today I read a post on another blog about writing. Well, actually it was about marketing under the guise of writing because no one with any flair for ‘the creative’ really wants to be a salesman. It’s true, isn’t it? If so, why do there seem to be so many blogging ‘artful dodgers’ in the blogosphere?

Continue reading

Minding Your Writer’s Mind

A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
– Ernest Hemingway

It would be nice to be able to sit down and write a sentence, then the next, perhaps even a third, and then to follow suit in a linear fashion eventually culminating with the completion of a cohesive and coherent text. Is it really asking too much for my mind to play nice? My often mind flits and flutters like the proverbial wing flapping butterfly in Chaos Theory. With all this wrestling with my thoughts, it’s difficult for me to bear in mind that I’m writing for others. So that basically means, my readers often have to hold on for dear life as they read my words, both those on and between the lines. Somewhere of course there is a message. I know what it is, but it’s the readers’ task to find it. And, like with any trip, getting there is half the fun.

Writing for me needs to be fun. It must have a shade of the abstract and a touch of randomness because that’s just the way my mind works. Can I write in 50 or words or less? No. Can I be less of myself? Definitely not. Why? Because that’s just how my mind works. So why should I fight it. If my writing defies convention so be it; my mind certainly does … and most likely do a fair number of yours.

Yet, for many writers and bloggers, writing is a chore. Ideas don’t come easily and finding their ‘voice’ is like looking for a needle in the verbal haystack. If you fancy yourself a writer or blogger, you most likely desire to establish your identity through your words, and to distinguish yourself from your peers, whomever they may be … especially those monkeys which are banging away in earnest to bang out the entire works of Shakespeare on a typewriter as a matter of happenstance.

Continue reading

Profundity In 50 Words Or Less

I was told the other day that although I am a “good” writer, my posts are wearisomely verbose. It was suggested that my long winded rambling ruminations required compression, lest I risk losing my audience.

I was therfore advised to tame my wild thought processes and repress that which comes naturally to me. I believe other words included in the conversation were: sanitize, censor, abbreviate, emasculate and whittle.

In compliance, and as such, I will endeavor in earnest to wrangle my stream of consciousness in order to attain literary profundity in 50 words or less. [Enter pregnant pause here] CRAP! I’ve already written double that! Well heck, at least I gave it a shot. Ramble on …

————————————————-

PS. Thanks for reading. Do you write what you think, or do you just think too much? Does having a brevity of words suggest self censorship? Let me know.

Suggested Reading:

Henry Miller on Writing (New Directions Paperbook)  Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words  The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself  How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling
Dada and Surrealism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)  The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well  Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process  Living the Writer's Life: A Complete Self-Help Guide
Suggested Listening:
Subterranean Homesick Blues  I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself  Ramble On