No matter what you think about self-censorship, I believe that it is very important to at least have thought about the issues and be able to provide a reason to back up your stance. Without overemphasizing the scope and reach of our work, we writers need to understand how our profession affects the people around us. Only from that understanding–that responsibility–can we make a truly educated choice regarding our work.
When I meet a new writer, musician, artist, or any other creative type, the foremost question that intrigues me is: “how do you keep yourself on track?”
When you find yourself truculently bedighting your scrivenery with inimical prose, serried and thick as chaparral; I, for one, recommend elision instead. Otherwise, your writing may appear solecistic, and you, as a writer, solipsismal.
When someone asks for “description,” do you answer with “leave nothing to the imagination?”
Well, as you may know, this isn’t too classy, and although some folks may enjoy that, most probably don’t.
I’d like to borrow a tired chiché from my music education experience, which is that the “practice makes perfect” mantra is misleading. Practice makes permanent is more often true. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Which raises the question: how does one practice writing?
According to me, there are at least 100,000 known writing strategies. Maybe even more (and that’s why we shouldn’t destroy the rain forest). Working at a college writing center has really opened up my eyes to all sorts of writing processes that professors recommend, and even though most of them have nonfiction, academic papers in mind, I think that we creative folks can glean something from their recommendations. The particular process I have in mind is called the Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge, brought to you by Betty S. Flowers, and…
It’s snowing again in Northern Virginia. There’s not much accumulation, mind you, but a friend of mine pointed out how oddly we Northern Virginians react to snow. As he says, we know that it’s going to snow every year, and yet it still manages to catch us off guard.
And everyone knows, a good villain is worth twice their body-weight in death rays.
In order to avoid betraying my utter ignorance, I’ll speak in vague generalities: if you’re walking or running efficiently, your body works a bit like a pendulum, swinging (not forcing) itself forward. I feel that I could run or walk for hours and never get tired when I’m running or walking in that ‘groove’. One long hill later and I have a different idea, but let’s not focus on that right now.
If your writing doesn’t make you squirm in the best of ways, then you’re doing something wrong.