Ramblings on Writing
I’m not sure if I’m a writer.
But I write.
In elementary school I wrote novels. Wish I could find those old manuscripts (I use that word very loosely). The tales they would tell about my imaginative little self might be… well… honestly I have no idea! I’ve probably romanticized the writer I was back then but I tend to believe that was the closest thing to a writer I’ve ever been.
In high school and college I wrote papers. I attempted to tap into the little dose of intellect I was acquiring. Measured by A’s & B’s, my writing was affirmed as sufficient.
In my 20’s and early 30’s I wrote business. Marketing copy, business letters and church programs. I wrote to inform.
Now it’s all colliding into what I hope will soon resemble a book. It’s the first attempt I’ve made to combine some storytelling, some intellect and some application of information all in one place.
Some days I feel like I’m reaching deep to find my 8-year-old novelist and some days I’m scouring the commentaries for an ounce of intellectual and Biblical wisdom to support my theories.
It’s one of the craziest journeys I’ve ever taken and honestly I’m loving every minute (or mostly ever minute) of it.
All you writers out there, what advice do you have to share?
There will be times when you hit a dry spot, when every word you try to put on paper just seems “wrong.”
When that happens to me, I go to the advice given by a beautiful friend, Anne Jackson. She told me to just start vomiting the words. Allow them ALL to see the light of day. Don’t worry about capital letters, commas or periods, just get the words OUT.
You might find words that need to be salvaged or you may find only a clearing of your mind.
Either way, it’s a good thing.
Faye, I’ve been told that before too and I think it’s so very true. Sometimes we have to just get a lot of junk out to find the specs of gold!
I agree with Faye too – just write. I also heard an exceptional Podcast from copyblogger.com that I highly recommend. It’s a two part interview with John Carlton. It’s a difference discipline of writing, but his thoughts on prep and the work of writing are relevant. Blessings to you Jenni.
Capture a little bit a lot of the time. One of my personal truths is that if I don’t write it down, it won’t happen, so I capture a lot of little things throughout my day so that I don’t lose the disparate thoughts that can become cohesive when I sit down to write.
I’ve moved from notepads to Evernote (my digital brain) and add in short notes, thoughts, quotes, stats, scriptures, ideas and to-dos. It captures it all and I can easily organize it with some click-and-drag. The net result is that when I do purpose to sit down and write, I’m not staring at a blank screen with a jumble of thoughts in my head.By tapping into these buckets of information, revelation and wisdom, it helps me to further formulate and articulate my thoughts and gives greater context and application.On another slight tech note, I’m a big fan of WriteRoom. It’s a full screen Mac app that is nothing but writing surface and a blinking cursor. Perfect for keeping me focused! (http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/writeroom)
Great stuff, Anthony!
Read The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. One of the best books ever on the art and practice of being a writer, whether fiction or non-fiction. It’s required reading for all my creative clients.
Read it. Love it. Need to read again!
I’m also starting to think about writing a book. Not completely sure about the title/topic as of yet. I’ll probably put my “2 cents” worth on leadership out there. Scary!
I’m reading through “Write The Perfect Book Proposal” by Jeff Herman/Deborah Levine Herman. It’s a pretty good read so far.
Enjoy the journey. I’ve been “thinking about it” for a few years now and am finally starting to get serious.
I look forward to hearing more as you write!