Writers Write Right

I originally wrote this last January but it based upon a number of posts from around the blogosphere it seemed appropriate to run it again.

Writers write right. Writers write, right? Writers write, right! I can craft that opening sentence to read a number of different ways. The point and purpose is to set the tone of the post or piece. It is part of why I frequently include quotes, pictures and music in these posts. I have an idea that I want you to understand. I have a theory, a tale or a story that will be enhanced by including those items. It is about connecting with the reader.

Connecting with the reader is the most critical component and sometimes the hardest thing to do.  I see things in my head. I have stories to tell and ideas to share. I want my readers to feel what I feel and to see what I see. There is a rhythm in my writing that reminds me of working out on my heavy bag. When I put on the gloves and start pounding the bag I am always listening to music. It is because the song helps me to set the pace. It helps to establish the time that I intend to work out for.

There are moments where I want nothing more than to pound out my frustration. Moments where I want the beat to help me beat the bag so hard that thoughts cannot creep inside my mind. I want to exhaust myself with the effort I put in so that when I am done I can barely raise my arms. At the end of those workouts I feel like I have been cleansed of whatever ills might be bothering me. That feeling might not last, but nothing does so that is ok.

Writers write. It is what we do. The reason why doesn’t matter. We write because we write…right. I blog furiously, with reckless abandon. Sometimes I write because it feels like if I turn my head I’ll discover that whatever it is that has been chasing me is right behind me. Sometimes I write because it is the best way to express my thoughts. Sometimes I write because I need to know that I can call upon my words whenever and wherever I need them to be.

That is because in my real life I get paid to write about a lot of different things and sometimes I am bored beyond belief by the topic. I am a passionate guy with a fiery personality. I like to use that passion to fuel my writing but I can’t allow my writing to be blocked because I am bored or because I can’t feel whatever it is I am writing about. I don’t have the time to make sure that everything is perfect. I take pride in my work and produce something as close to perfect every time, but I won’t pretend to hit the mark.

Chris Brogan addressed this in a post he wrote called The Myth of the Perfect Writing Environment. Read it. If you don’t read it take a moment to look at these two excerpts:

“If you’re passionate and dedicated and intend to get your writing done, buck up and do it. If you don’t have your perfect Moleskine with you or you left your lucky pen at home, then write on something else. Use a napkin. Use a crayon. Write. Get it done. Put your words into something so that you can look at them outside of your head. Get the first thoughts out. Get your notes into a format that will generate a real piece when the time is right.”

and

“The best sentences don’t sell books (or magazines or whatever). A string of reasonably not bad sentences with useful and engaging information sells books. My books are NOT the best-written books out there on their topic. They’re well-marketed books that I put some soul and heart into. Is every sentence just so? Not even a little bit. But am I a New York Times bestselling author? Oh yes I am. Because I published.”

That is sensible and practical advice that I can use as a writer, friend, businessman and father. The time to write is NOW.  I share these thoughts on the blog for a variety of reasons. If you are one of the 17 long time readers you know that eventually my children will be given the keys to the kingdom and that this will be a place that they can come to read and see what was important to their father. It is also a chronicle of their lives where I can come back and remember what they said that was so funny to me. A place where I come and laugh when I think about my ten year-old saying during the State of the Union that he was afraid of being drafted to help build the railroad. If you didn’t watch President Obama or read the speech go Google it and you’ll see where he spoke about the infrastructure.

I write here for me first. I wouldn’t last if I didn’t. Apparently I am not the only writer who thinks like this.

“I never think about you,” said British author Martin Amis at the Jaipur Literature Festival in response to a young member of the public who asked how important readers are in an author’s mind.

“You are dead if you think about the reader. You think about yourself,” added Mr. Amis. He was adamant that authors should “write what they would like to read,” rather than have an ideal reader in mind.

The blog also serves as a way to jump start the paid writing. If I come across an assignment that I am having trouble with I sometimes stimulate the writing by blogging about something. Topic doesn’t matter, what matters is starting the creative process. Remember that I said that I want the words to come when I call. I need them to come like Spiderman’s web. Point, click, cut, paste, clickety-clack.

Writers write, but they also read. I read constantly and consistently. Some of it is for pleasure and some of it is intended to help me in areas x,y and z. Right now I am reading The Art of War,  primarily for pleasure but also with an eye for applying some of the lessons to my life.

Within the blogosphere I read quite a few blogs, some of them religiously, some of them not so much. Lately I have been checking out Kommein. It is a blog that I have been visiting on and off for quite some time now. I like it because I find some of the posts to have practical advice. Here are two that have caught my eye:
The Benefits of Linking for the Linker
Weekend Discussion: Why Don’t You Comment On Blogs

Two quick comments on these posts. I have been sort of struggling with links for a while now. I tend to share a lot of what I find interesting on Twitter and less here. It is sort of the reverse of what I did on the old blog.  In part it is because I don’t have as much time to blog as I used to, but a quick Tweet is simple. I am not so sure that it is as beneficial.

And I agree with Deb that linking is Good JuJu. As for commenting, well I comment on virtually everything. I suppose that you could say that it is not always smart to comment unless you add value, but that is sort of weak to me. You put the time in to write and I took the time to read so it is sort of an acknowledgment of an exchange. I won’t lie and say that I don’t hope it leads to more readers because I do. However, that is a secondary role for me.

Writers write. Sometimes it is because we started a story whose end must wait and others because it is what pays the bills. And sometimes we write because for us it is simply, right.

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Comments

  1. @adamsok@janetcallaway I really like reading comments where people they love wriiting/bloggng etc. There is so much joy and opportunity for growth to be had.

    Keep on going- writing is the perfect discipline for practice- the more we do it the better we become.

  2. @Luma Hi Luma- the journey is in some ways the best part. There are so many adventures and lessons to be had- just a plethora of good times.

  3. @janetcallaway Kommein is an old favorite of mine- lots to learn there.

    It seems to me that you are a fine writer, even if you haven’t always considered yourself to be one.

    That compulsion to put pen to paper is something that I know quite well. Glad to hear that you are enjoying it, it is a lot of fun.

  4. @Lori It is absolutely what we do and with all the joy that we can muster. 🙂

  5. Good stuff Jack. Thanks for reposting. Like @janetcallaway I was not a writer prior to blogging. Writing was one of those things that I hated most to do in this world. I found that my hatred of writing was due to the fear of not writing very well. I would sit down and stare at the computer screen for hours whenever I needed to write something. Is there a technical phobia name for that fear lol???

    Blogging has changed all that. Once I get it going, I find that most of the fear dissipates. It just flows, and each subsequent article gets easier to write. I actually get to the point of feeling joy and satisfaction from writing. So, in the end, writers write…even me!

  6. Thanks Jack,

    Great inspiration to keep writing, feeling and enjoying the journey. Now I have 45 precious minutes to write my next section of an article. I promise treasure every word.

  7. Jack, aloha. Thanks so much for introducing me to Kommeinn. Liked what I read in those two posts and can others I want to read.

    Unlike you, I was not a writer in the past. However, since I started late last year, I discovered than I am enjoying the process for a variety of different reasons. The longer I write, the more I feel compelled to write. Hmmm, does that mean I’m a writer? Until next time, aloha. Janet

  8. zjrosenberg says:

    @TheJackB It definitely does. And what’s important is to not just read the things and genres that you like, but read outside your genre – even if it’s only a little at a time, or a couple pages at a time. Because maybe someone in the circle of writers you read hasn’t said something, but someone in another has. It’s a tricky world like that. I remember back in college, we’d bring in 10 copies of 7 pages of poetry for the others to edit, and you’d get 10 other peoples’ 7 pages of writing to edit. It was fun to really feel like other people from other circles and backgrounds of writing and reading were taking in your work. I’m a firm believer in finding a good writer’s circle to bounce things off of. It all goes hand-in-hand-in-hand – reading/writing/editing. Without one, the circle breaks down.

  9. @Daddymojo I think that is awesome. Ninety minutes a solid chunk of time to work with. There is a lot that you can do in that sort of time frame.

  10. @zjrosenberg I read constantly. I really enjoy seeing how other writers build their paragraphs and construct their story lines. I think that it has really helped me improve my own writing.

  11. @psychicjazz I am big on going with the flow. Life is much more interesting when we can follow our passions.

  12. Hi Jack, I like this. A writer write because he/she does what he/she is. (Now THAT’S good writing, right 😮 )

    “Writers write. It is what we do.” Period!

    Lori

  13. Daddymojo says:

    Writing is good for the soul. I started it in a journal when I was a young lad, then continued writing for a couple papers. Eventually the blogging community happened and allows me to write every day-when I carve out the time. I’ve since carved out 90 minutes a day to write for any of my clients or my blog. Write on brother.

  14. zjrosenberg says:

    Most important part of your post – writers are readers. In my collegiate writing classes, they never could stress that enough. I took a bunch of Poetry writing classes (I know, college, huh?) and you HAD to keep reading to see what was up around the world and what trends in writing were. Plus, you’d think you were all clever saying something in a certain way, but not know that someone famously said it JUST LIKE THAT before you. Besides, you can’t write the next great novel/poem/ad campaign if someone already has.

  15. Your blog has actually inspired me to write the following:

    Have a passionate desire to do something new and exciting? But wait…what will people think? Is that really me? I’m not sure…I may not get it right #tremblingwithworry. Perfect much?!?! Go with the flow of your desires, extinguish the fears of illusion and FEEL the creation happen. Artwork is full of drips and strange composition — but it is the unexpectedness of what you do/create, that adds excitement to your piece and somehow — It just works!! Walk into your flow confidently and don’t work on finding it…Your actions will allow it to just come out from you. #theendorthebeginning

  16. @Faryna I have seen bits and pieces of that movie but never have caught the whole thing. Probably should check it out one day.

  17. Write, Postman! Write! [reference to the movie with Kevin Costner]

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