Writing

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On Writing

When I teach English or writing, one of the first things that I ask my students is, “Who likes to write?”

Sometimes, okay all the time, one or two hands go up. This indicates the people who are eager to please, and not necessarily the people who like to write or are eager to write.

At this point, I’ve established that my hand is the one in the air and that I’m there to help people become better writers and communicators. I don’t care that they like or dislike writing. In a class dedicated to reading and writing, my goal is to get people writing.

What’s important in all this is that I actually do like to write. Quite a lot, in fact. However, liking to write is different from being good at writing or being successful with writing (as in make a career at it). It’s one of the things I do all the time. I make my own journals in part to save money and in part because I need things to take notes in and write in and work in.

You might even say that, for me, writing is a massive part of my life. I’ve dedicated a good portion of it, my income, and my time to the act and process. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at writing, though that may actually be a subjective thing, though the objective granting of a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing may suggest otherwise.

In addition to writing, I’m pretty passionate about teaching writing, though I doubt I’ll ever follow through on some of my larger projects in that regard. Meaning, I won’t write the book I think needs to be written because the market for writing books is seriously saturated and I don’t want my work lost.

Writing, however, requires Reading, or you have to read and take things in so you can then produce something new and unique (to you). Which, by the way, is not something truly new or unique. Which leads me to, the more you read, the better you will write so long as you write something everyday. Notice I didn’t say you have to write something specific (like that novel or screenplay or poem you’re working on), and that you write something.

Finally, in order to improve there will always be a need to go back to the basics and review, re-learn, and attempt to find new ways to interpret what makes effective writing what it is. For me, this has included a history of the English language, dips into Latin (language) and Greek (language) and constantly going back to textbooks and material on writing and grammar.

My goal isn’t to be the most successful author or writer or teacher. Instead, it’s to be the best writer I can be with no expectation for anything more. If I can help others in the process, all the better. However, at the end of my day, so long as I’ve done what I can, I will always sleep well and be happy with where I’m at. Because, regardless of anything else, I *want to be happy with where I am and what I’m doing.

Also see, Plot & Story and Writers Bits

The Two Needs

In order to write well and often, you need something to write with and something to write on. For some people, this may be a computer (keyboard, some kind of text editor or word processor), a typewriter, or a pen or pencil and a notebook or paper of some kind.

Also see, The Bindery and AVT Notebooks