BE BOLD WRITERS
By Natalie Bright
In a previous blog, I talked about a little book often referred to within writing circles titled ELEMENTS OF STYLE. I turned to this book, not as a writer, but as a mother to help my son retake a major state competency test in English. I’m happy to report he passed the multiple-choice portion on editing with an above average score! However, the discussion question was lame and he didn’t want to fill up a whole page with something stupid so he wrote a short paragraph. One paragraph does not a one page answer make.
Words on Paper
What is it about putting words on paper that is so defeating to some people? Kids trying to answer discussion questions aren’t the only ones who wrestle with these issues. Adults do too. I’ve met so many people at conferences who have some amazing stories to tell. They’ll talk your ear off, but become incapacitated when it comes to actually putting pen to paper. “I’m afraid I’ll mess it up,” said one lady, who’d been collecting family letters and genealogy research for years yet it’s all in a box, waiting. She had an amazing history to tell and a solid idea for a creative fiction novel. I hope she finds the courage someday to tackle the project.
From this day forward, let’s become fearless writers. No matter how lame, or how silly the idea might be that pops into your head, write it down. Whether it be fiction or nonfiction, setting, character, or a snippet of dialogue, write it! Jot it down on a sticky note, and you can elaborate in your idea journal later. I have ideas on meeting programs, napkins, and bank deposit slips.
- A card index is a good way to stay organized; title, markets, short synopsis or intro paragraph.
- A 3-ring binder filled with project sheets with details where you were when the idea came to you, possible titles, markets, themes.
- A new .doc. It might only be a one sentence note, but it’s there and surprisingly I remember it and find myself expanding on the idea years later. Some have even turned into something major (see next week’s blog for some exciting news!)
The one thing I haven’t done in years past is to write every idea down. Regrettably, there’s been tons of sparks that have popped into my head at the worst possible moments. Unique and wonderful gifts of inspiration that I knew I’d remember. Unfortunately, I never could.
So be bold ye fellow wordsmiths! Just write.