A Few Thoughts

And a Few Thoughts…….

We writers write but the words do not always come easy. I am not talking about that lament, writers block. I am discussing the process of writing words that have meaning and convey the essence of their intent. In order to do this, most writers practice.

When I think back to learning to write in school, I frequently felt like a fish out of water, to use a cliche. There were all these rules. How to begin and end sentences. What kind of sentences to use. How to link sentences together. Then, oh my gosh, heaven help you if you put enough sentences together for a paragraph. Then one paragraph had to lead to another with the first introducing the rest and finally a concluding paragraph. Whew!

At first, I resisted this dogma. I just wanted to tell my stories. I guess I had enough of a natural flow that my work was acceptable. I used a pretty well developed vocabulary for a poor neighborhood school, i.e. those high influential words that teachers like. Then something happened along the way. I learned how to diagram sentences. This was fun. Seeing all the relationships of the words and the different meanings added whole new dimensions to the words. These relationships gave the words power. Not to mention I liked to draw all the lines and shapes to put the words into the diagrams.Well, if the relationships of the words to each other was a so important than maybe I needed to pay attention to some of the other dogma. What was I missing?

I opened myself up to the instruction and the power of the words and the intent of their use. It is amazing to me that that the use and definitions are as varied as the people using them not to mention the people receiving them. No matter how carefully you craft your words; the readers decide what they mean to them. This goes for simple instructions, advertising, sayings, jokes, novels to nonfiction works. So, we practice writing just like any other field, art, science or craft. We hone our words to convey our meanings, set a tone, describe a setting, have a character feel, draw you into a story or even get you mad at it, so many reasons to practice.

Now to practice, after all we are back to that grade school mechanic of the sentence starter and my resistance sets in again. There are books and books and articles and other media loaded with these things. I have this problem. When the sentence is started for me, I go blank. Back to chucking the tried and true for me. For me, I just need to let my thoughts loose! Set them free and snag one that seems interesting. Using my senses to the area around me often stimulates the next thought for description. And so a few thoughts can be the next book, game, article or just a damn good writing practice.

Posted in Reflections.