Jennifer's Journal


Friday, November 09, 2007

Writing Secrets

A facility with words is the stock in trade of writers.  People expect it, as if you can turn on a spigot and out they come to order.  Sometimes, they do.  In the past week or so, for instance, I've been asked to contribute an article to IAW, a Wisconsin magazine, on "Building", specifically what it takes to build to a climax in book length fiction.  I was also asked to create a new version of a Christmas poem traditionally used to install the officers for my quilt guild.  Well, okay.  I sat down in front of my computer, and got up a while later with the work done.  But what is it that gives a writer the ability to do this when others often don't know where to start?  The answer can be put in a single word: Trust.
Professional writers have learned, after putting thousands of ideas on paper in millions of words, to trust what springs to their minds.  They trust that when the first sentence has been captured, there will be another and another until the job is done.  They trust their brains to create a coherent message with these sentences -- or at least to construct one from them in revision.  They trust that their ideas have at least as much validity as those of the next person.  They trust that someone can read what they have written and understand what they mean to say.  They trust what has come to be called their "muse", but is really the wordsmith within them.

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