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A couple of days ago I ended my blog post with the question, “Why Blog?”
Susanne, who blogs at Life in a Flash answered, “I blog to write and have people read my writing. I’m not sure I would continue if there weren’t any readers! And I SO enjoy connecting with people from places I may never visit and learn about their worlds and lives.”
A blonde reader and blogger (Blondewritemore) wrote, “Interesting question! I am still thinking about that myself, I suppose its about having a regular voice, attracting like minded souls and venting some creative frustration.”
I can answer this question now! I blog because: I love to write and when people read what I write, I am encouraged to write some more; there is that need to share with others what I have learned but I cannot do this on a deep level if I cannot open up…
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In college, my writing professors shared a constant refrain: “show, don’t tell.” I had a hard time grasping this nuance of writerly advice until I discovered a quote by Anton Chekhov — a Russian physician considered to be one of the greatest short story writers of all time:
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
For me, reading this quote made “showing” “click.” Not only does showing make writing far more interesting to read, it’s free of that boring clunkiness — that perceptible weight telling hangs on innocent passages of text that make them drag for the reader.
Often these “showing” parts make you swoon and sweep you off your feet. Consider this passage from one of my favorite novels of all-time: The Shipping News
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I enjoy this sign quite a bit: “There are cameras in the parking lot, but we’re not watching them, so do whatever you want.” The misspelling of “management” is just the icing on the cake.
Why the hell would you put that second sentence on the sign, unless you wanted people to think that they could get away with shit? Somebody help me out here.
I am tired as hell right now; tired to the point where I’m writing this paragraph probably fifteen minutes after finishing the second one. I’ve basically been staring off into space for most of the time in between. The boy fell asleep quickly enough at the hotel last night (and he had a blast at the reception, in the way young kids do) but I’m finding that I really can’t sleep without a fan on me, which I didn’t have, and we had to leave…
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“You’re not going to be a writer someday.
You’re a writer today. Discipline yourself to write
and take time to enjoy writing. Do it a lot.
Have fun with it. Begin now.” -Jack Heffron
For today’s post, I’m featuring some wonderful tips from Jack Heffron, a freelance writer and editor. In The Writer’s Idea Book, Heffron says, “Like many things, writing becomes a habit. If you do it, just keep doing it.”
How to make writing a habit? He offers the following suggestions:
- Show up, go to your desk or open your computer on a regular basis.
- Try using Thomas McGuane’s approach for one week. Every day, McGuane goes to his study at a certain time and stays there for a certain length of time to write. If the words don’t come he tells himself, “I don’t have to write, but I can’t do anything else.”
- Be kind to yourself if…
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