01a-Invitation to write
Did you write today?
However if you want / need more encouragement keep on reading.
At the end of Mad Max: Fury Road there is a quote:
“Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves.”
-The First History Man
Find your better self. Write your own history. Make your own future. Your path is chosen by you and not others.
Question: What is the most expensive thing that you will ever own?
Answer: A closed mind. It will cost you the experiences of a lifetime. Do not close your mind to experiences that may enhance you and expand you and your mind.
Photo courtesy of Flickr
ERASE!!! by David Alan Binder
We all make mistakes since most of us are human (at least speaking for myself and a few of you LOL). Erasers are for mistakes; sometimes a bigger mistake may take a larger eraser. Erasers are for “Oops!” “Dog Gone Its!” and even “Damn Its”. Now a days it may be white out, backspace, revision, whatever it takes to correct that which was written in not quite the right way. Yeah, editing, revising, correcting, changing, substituting, making it better, and just getting it right; not perfect since there is no such thing as perfect for if you want perfect the project, paper, novel, story, book, poem, etc. it will NEVER be finished.
"We must risk a loss of passionate connection to distance ourselves from our work; to grow a little cold to it in order to revise, in order to look at a [work] as a series of decisions. Why this and not that?" Dean Young, The Art of Recklessness. Furthermore put on your lab coat and get clinical and detach yourself from the emotional aspect of being a writer or change hats to the ruthless editor and make those hard choices and change the story for the better. Some people require others to do this dispassionate work and others are able to do this themselves to a degree.
So paraphrasing Jeff Goins you are a writer, so write!
David Alan Binder on writing:
1. Write your feelings
What are you happy, say, jealous, envious, angry, love, hate about. That's what you should write about because you are feeling it and it means something to you and you can express those feelings and thoughts. What irks you, what makes you happy, what makes you jealous, what makes you envious, angry, makes you love, hate, etc.? It irks me that my initials D.A.B., yeah dab, how drab and droll and mundane and yet it is something I can and will not change and will follow me wherever I go. Express your frustrations and get them out, it may not make a story but just be a way of venting your emotion so you can deal with it and move on. This can be especially cathartic for relationship problems.
2. Write every day
Put down your ideas, your dreams, your experiences even just one sentence. More sentences are better and they will build and continue building until the inevitable conclusion and you are finished. Then you rewrite, more on that later.
3. Write about what moves you
What are you passionate about? History, nature, words, religion, politics, medicine, etc.
4. Write about interesting things or occurrences that you see
Life stories are happening all around you, people are telling you what instances of life they are going through and you are hearing it through their eyes, yet your ears, giving you a different perspective.
5. Write about people that you know
You grandmother or grandfather, your friends, your relatives but use what you know in a way than won't be tied back to them but will create memorable characters with their foibles, their nuances, their ideals.
6. Write about places that involved you emotionally.
Not just that you went to Yellowstone and say something about geyser but how you felt about it and what it meant to you and those that were with you. Perhaps in all that spectacular wilderness only one thing stood out and spoke a story to you, a flower, and tree, a chipmunk or something that expressed something to you that you have to write about.
7. Write about your explorations. Where have you explored in your mind, your thoughts, those sexual, intimate places that no one knows about. You may have to use a pseudonym but express those explorations of fantasy. What would it be like for you to not have a husband but be able to date and go about freely? What would it be like to be able to travel to distant places? Research and write about it. Plus research can give you other ideas. I research words and their usage and sometimes a particular word sings to me and captures my attention like no other and I use it and the information that it gives to only me.
8. Write about your family and the emotions that they bring out in you.
The told and retold stories your family shares may be the root of a story for you to write about. One from our family is when our first son was very young he was sitting in his high chair playing with a funnel and looking at the portion that formed out into the small opening end. I said, "Funnels are fun." He then turned the funnel around and looked into the large opening portion and pursed his lips as if to make a funnel. We laugh every time we tell that story and to this day every time we pick up a funnel I think of that story. Use your family dynamic and what you like or dislike about it to propel you into some verbiage and get that emotion out of you and onto whatever medium you use.
9. Write about nature.
There is nature all around you from the dandelions in your yard to the fireflies during summer to that stand of trees that you just know had some story from long ago when there were settlers and explorers wandering the land and those must be expressed.
10. Write about what may be a historic event that just took place.
That fort you visited, that archaeological dig, that building had real people and animals that lived there and their stories must be expressed if not through you then who will take the time and effort and see those emotions that you see.
11. Write about interesting stories that others tell you about. Your friends are all talking and telling their stories all the time and something within one of those stories may spark something inside of you that gives you new insight or new thoughts about another time or place.
12. Write, write and write again.
This is the practice and repetition of it which means "repetition is the mother of skill" (as Corey Wayne says) and this will bear your skill to fruition and let you become the master you'd like to be.
13. Write and always have 2 to 6 stories under development, from just one sentence to several paragraphs.
Keep these ideas you are working on close to your mind and thoughts so that as some thought strikes you, you can add to or embellish your stories.
14. Think about writing when you are not writing.
I walked to the store the other way (surprised my wife that I was not driving) and all during the walk I thought about writing and different perspectives and looking at the passing neighborhoods in a way I had not seen them before. This is the way to live, breath and dream writing.
15. Everything you are seeing, feeling, experiencing, thinking about could potentially be an article, story or feature.
Once you have the writer mentality then something switches inside of you from just living your life to everything has potential to be written about and this gives you impetus to write more and become compelled.
16. Learn about writing.
Search and find all you can find about writing and take those things that appeal to you and add upon them. Making learning about writing a passion so you can get good, no I mean, really good, no don't stop there, become great. Get your Doctorate in writing, not by just taking classes but by performing and practicing and researching and writing. Once does not have to get a degree to be able to write one just needs to pursue it like it is a course of instructing yourself and developing the discipline.
17. Writing is a chore.
Writing can be like taking out the garbage, a routine never ending grind. If this becomes true for you then you either are not a writer which is not a bad thing to find out or just take your time to develop the routine and grow into it and learn to love it. I personally hated taking out the trash way back when I was a kid until I was old enough so that I got to put the trash in the burn barrel (it was in the country before it was non-environmentally cool) and got to light the fire and watch it burn, then it became a love to do chore and I excitedly looked forward to it. Writing can be what you make of it, turn it from your chore to your highlight.
18. Chose your medium for writing wisely.
Choose your medium carefully and wisely. Paper an obvious choice has it pitfalls especially if your writing (or printing in my case) is so bad that sometimes after you write it you can not read that one word that will make the whole difference and yet it cannot be discerned no matter how you look and look and go over it. I've done that, especially if I write while driving (hey, it is not texting at least) but probably makes no difference. Paper is not very resilient if spills happen or it gets misplaced or someone reads your note and says, “What’s this?” when it may be private and not a fully evolved idea.
Another good choice is a lot of cell phones these days have a notepad type feature where you can jot down notes and ideas or use the recorder to capture them and talk to yourself about them.. I also keep a list of current stories I am working on plus ideas for stories that why if anything happens to pop in my head that would go with any of them I can jot them down. Although if I am not at a keyboard I have not mastered using both thumbs at once type typing like younger people can.
Also, if you are on the computer the right program can make a difference. Once I was writing a story live on my web site and hit a combination of keys that somehow took me off of the web page I was editing and to a site called Roomkey.com. I have no freaking idea how that happened but everything I had written down was gone. Talk about a downer, that really sucked and I lost a lot of that particular verbiage; but the good news is you are supposed to write then revisit and rewrite so I did rewrite it but it took until the next day since that really took the wind out of my sails.
19. Write until is it right.
This is where you hone your craft, where you take out all of the imperfections and leave a concoction that is deliciously perfect. Just like a recipe an over seasoned story and get bogged down or have too many flavors competing within it to get that one flavor or two flavors that makes it a must have favorite..
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