Apr 25, 2008

No 10 Easy Steps to Writing

I read a lot about writing, and sometimes I wonder how much I’m actually learning. Since I don’t take notes, highlight, or even buy the books so I can reference them later – is reading a waste of my time?

A professional, published, seasoned writer says, “No!” (but not in so many words)

Writing quotation: “In the end, writing skills are mostly absorbed, not learned. Like learning to speak as a native speaker, learning to write well is not just learning a set of rules or techniques,” writes Philip Martin in The New Writer’s Handbook 2007 (Scarletta Press). “It’s a huge, messy body of deep language, inspired by bits of readings, conversations, incidents; it’s affected by how you were taught and where you live and who you want to become.”

That’s good – and there’s more:

“For every convention, there is another way that may work better. For every rule, there are mavericks who succeed by flaunting it. There is no right or wrong way to write, no ten easy steps.”

Writing tip: I think the most successful writing mavericks or renegade writers (Linda Formichelli!) are those who don’t try to be different. They just are. They trust their gut, they take those little glimmers of inspiration and nurture them into blossoms of orange and yellow and red. Writing mavericks tap into their personalities and souls, and let themselves be vulnerable.

It may sound easy, but it takes a lot of courage not only to be who you are, but share it with your readers.

PS – I’ve now been on the radio twice, talking about my articles! I really should blog about it……

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