Strong impressions hard to come by

The week’s music. September 6—September 13. 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012, 2022. Nothing made a strong impression. One stood above the rest, then opened the mouth to sing. Some you either like or you don’t. It is going to be harder to find Christian music week by week as I can no longer access the list I was using, but I will still look to use a list elsewhere.

A genre filled with life

When is the abundant genre appropriate to write today? Perhaps not these days. But what about past days? Future days? Sometime ago in a person’s life? What was the narrative? Somehow, what is it? The abundant genre is about blessings, full of blessings, over filled with blessings. Even those blessings in disguise…hidden ones, silent ones, quiet ones. Still filled ones. Even goodness.

Writing in anger

A reviewer assumed a screenwriter/director was driven by anger to make a work, but being driven by this emotion seems a stretch too far. How does one manage that emotion while working with it? Wouldn’t anger get out of control and interfere with the person doing the work, effectively disabling the person from thinking straight?

I guess anger in writing can smolder underneath, under layers one has built up to protect oneself from exposing the driving, motivating force behind a work or works.

The problem with writing in anger is that anger may be seen in how one treats the subject they are irritated about. An exaggerated treatment may reveal a bias towards a certain institution, but it isn’t the way it is. This is when things become unfair.

I think it is best to avoid those writings that are driven by the emotion of anger. There are other emotions to write with, and these can be negative ones. For me at least, anger is detrimental to getting on doing the work properly.

In the end one may be misrepresenting something or some group entirely and perhaps regret doing so afterwards.

One word says it

As I am progressing my sentence, and stuck for the right word, I try and use two words. Why use two words when I could use one? Two words tries to expand on the meaning in my mind — but it sounds clumsy and awkward. It just does not flow well. One word may say it much better. Just got to find the right word. That’s where words with similar meanings come in (synonyms), since one of those words may just say it better than two.  I google for a synonym and  I find the right word that replaces the two words that just did not sound right.

The genre may choose you

I’ve been thinking. Of what use is a writer? When you reach a certain age, you look for a job or embark on a career and writing seems everywhere. When I look at this writing world, there are needs for newsletter writers, technical writers, and so on. A few will make money from creative writing and maybe even a living, be that screenwriting, novel writing and short short story writing, as well as poetry. Of what use is a writer? It seems what is missing now is the motive, the purpose, the over riding theme of why one wants to write. When I knew my reason for being it seemed to choose the genre. When the genre was “chosen” (or more likely drawn into), of what use is a writer when there are just a few publishing possibilities in that genre? What if one got in?

Thinking before writing

Am thinking is my favorite hashtag. Because when I am thinking I am thinking about how I can move forward, improve, or make something such as my writing better. A think tank can be the before writing process. Actual writing follows thinking or at other times a healthy dose of inspiration. This week I have been thinking. Thinking about what’s next to write. The devotion? Or the project? Or the devotional project? How will I write it? Would it work? We’ll see.

The solitude of the writer

I have had experience on my side, publishing credits, and an eye to improve for that next piece and the one after that and the one after that…until the writer reaches stuff to his or her eye. Then there are more things the writer may need to improve on. Later he starts thinking, I can relax. He’s done his best and whatever the publisher thinks, he’s always done his best. But, who really cares? Apparently, people do. 

Learning from rejection of writing

My devotion was written, edited, submitted, now in process of a month’s evaluation by the editors, then I am notified of its status. Writing it was a bit of a labor, even at 300 words. It’s just getting it right that counts even with good material — I do not take for granted getting a piece rejected these days, after several set-backs where my work, which I thought was good, was rejected.

Editing to personal satisfaction

Whatever you do do it well-

Walt Disney

I’d like to avoid the difficult editing stages of polishing a piece of writing, so I may delay doing it, even so ending up having to do it, because I just gotta. It is thinking about what I want out of the piece that motivates me to “rise up” mentally and take the bull to the horns as they say. Without a good polish, I am left with regret and sorrow over a piece that could have been so much better with a polish. Then, there’s someone saying, “it’s all good” which makes me feel better, but not reassured. To be reassured is knowing that the piece is good in my own mind–but thanks for the encouragement, very much. Keep on polishing until satisfied.

What will the author do next?

The humble writer or artist and filmmaker for that matter, may shy away from publicity or at least attempt to. But, underneath, there may be a liking to the question, what will he do next? Will it be as good or better than the last thing they made? That’s when a writer and artist gets a little inkling they have made it. But what will be next? A widely received disappointment? After the artist has gained acceptance?

Merely interesting?

When an article is merely interesting. If its my article, I deny it. Because I believe, rightly or wrongly, that articles need to be more than interesting. But there are two types of interesting which sort of makes up for it. A stimulating interesting in that one is always engaged in the article, that while it doesn’t jump off the page or screen, is always stimulating. And a dull interesting, in that the way it’s done isn’t that imaginative, but is always readable.

When the article lacks that certain something

Have you ever had the feeling a piece of writing goes on and on, especially in the middle, when it seems the writer is searching for words to fill in space? Words with empty spaces. Hardly inventive and arousing. Less than simulating. Should be overcome with a dose of ‘color’ and factual information to spice things up.

Between truth and experience is the writer

in 1999, I wrote a short piece that was implicitly about truth but even I, the writer of that article, found myself caught between truth and experience. On one hand, truth is solid. On the other hand, experience is fluid, it flows. They can be in contradiction, but sometimes the two can intersect perfectly. This was not one of those times. My article stated a truth; but something in my nature was also going in the opposite direction as well. I went along with the truth, but had I ignored writing about experience at my peril? The editor encouraged me that the article was about a good truth. Yet I got the feeling that wasn’t enough in his eyes. Myself, I thought the article was great and even now I think it’s the best article I did for that magazine up until that time.

Editing SOS

Ever thought an article of yours that was published sounded uneven? Like some parts could have been better, but other parts were good. But in the end it sort of comes out in the wash and the effect of the article actually says something well. That’s a bit of a strange working, if I may say so. That’s how writing can go, for one reason or another. The writer, on a reasonably off day, may not be 100 percent “on the ball” but gets it right in how it all jells together. Uncanny. Maybe the writer was so enthusiastic in writing the article, and side stepped thinking it through, as it appeared to sound okay as is. With the published article, the blemishes showed through a little (at least according to the writer), yet the article still works (according to the writer, again)!

First paragraphs as they say matter

There’s nothing like a good paragraph to start an article, but what if your own paragraph (this one I’m writing excluded) sounded gratingly off-putting? That’s how I felt about a 2001 article of mine. Now, I don’t necessarily agree with what was said in that first paragraph, but back then I probably found it interesting. However, the middle of the article made me think. It actually made good sense, and if one applied this wisdom, it would do some good. I wish I had applied it earlier. Even so, one knows what one knows at the time. That’s life. But just maybe I will write the sequel….

Submit everything or only the best?

Rejection seldom takes a writer well, but taking it on the chin can be enlightening. Personally, I would like to see all of my articles etc. published. But this is unrealistic. One, my article may be inappropriate for the readers although on its own merits stands. Two, not everything of mine should be published. Why? Simply because some of my pieces may be better than the others. So, when something is rejected, it’s not as good as the other pieces.

Ideas notebook for all those invasive thoughts

There’s an easy way to file away ideas and thoughts. It’s not by filing ideas and thoughts for different genres into different notebooks, but simply keeping a notebook for everything that comes to mind. I’d been doing that way, but realized the put everything in one place approach is better. I’ve been keeping my Bible reading notes in one exercise book. This was for the purpose of jotting the ideas I get from reading the Bible which could become devotions, meditations and reflections. When other ideas came to mind, say a story idea that jumped into my head, I had to find a different notebook, or piece of paper, to jot the idea down. But it would be quicker just writing the idea in my devotional notebook because that was handy. I don’t like mixing various ideas around in a notebook intended for one thing, though. It makes much better sense to include everything in one notebook, doesn’t it? So, all one has to do is headline each notebook entry for what kind of idea it is: be it devotional, story, article, poem, etc.

And if one is the run, one may keep a recorder, or something like it, for easy recording when ideas come to mind. Keep the ideas in one place on the recorder and indicate what each idea is, whether story, article, poem, etc. Much better. All in one place and headlined for easy reference. All one needs now is a good notebook and/or a digital recorder. Digital recorders hold more information so spending on one is probably cheaper in the long run than buying notebook after notebook. May be just invest in a simple digital recorder for note-taking, if one likes, if that’s easier when on the run. Or write it down, if that’s preferable.

 

Tiny bits of encouragement woven in

Bad days are gone, grey days instead. In the grey days it’s not so bad. The day may be grey. A rejection letter that sounded like a gentle let down. A letter from the editor that while the piece hasn’t been accepted, it’s on the short list. Tiny bits of encouragement woven in. With that little bit of encouragement, one is encouraged to do more.

Delivering the story full stop

Little things I pick up along the way…as I was reading a book, I stumbled onto a nugget of wisdom. The book appraised films for this or that reason and a reason a critic gave was personally illuminating. The critic said a certain director wasn’t prepared to go the places a subject or premise would naturally go. It clicked. If I am to write stories, write stories I am prepared to deliver on. Go to the places the subject demands. If I can’t go there, don’t write it.

The journey of writing: exploring something new

While on the road of writing, if it’s full-time, part-time, casual, or as one can write in-between the necessities of life, sometimes there’s the urge to reach beyond the boundaries of one’s normal genres of writing. I’ve desired it and tried it, but tended to fall back on the predictable or the road well-traveled.

A mission on the journey

Or a mission, to pursue the possibility (not probability at this stage) of submitting a unique work of fiction or poetry by the end of next month, to a publisher that is open to receiving it. In the words of a former supervisor of mine, I look forward to it.

Start thinking about it today. Work on it tomorrow.