Thursday, October 26, 2017

For Those Who Want To Write

I do a bit of writing each day. I was a late starter, age 58 in fact. That was seven books and a thousand blog articles ago. In the process of that endeavor, I have learned a few things.

If you are a person who desires to write, here are a few suggestions:

1.  Become aware of your surroundings. Train your ears to hear what others miss. Focus your eyes on the fleeting imagery that can be the catalyst of fresh insight. The best authors do this. I have been told that Louis L’Amour, the famous Western writer, walked the exact trails he tried to describe to his readers. He tasted the dust and listened to sounds of a horse whinny describing each experience in captivating detail. My friend, John L. Moore, is a master at this.

2.  Create a deposit and retrieval system for the things that capture your interest. Find a place to store your thoughts either in a Word document or in a blog. You can come back later to get them if you have created a place for them. Donald Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz, said if you want to know where his next book is coming from, read his blog.

3.  Until you become proficient in writing, invest in a grammar program like Grammarly (Thanks, John). It will help you craft sentences people can understand. I have read emerging writers who had great insight and story yet stumble in their writing skills to such a degree that I had to check out and move on.

4.  Give people permission to show you the errors in your writing. I have a few authors and editors who have helped me with their wisdom when my writing stumbled. They have been kind enough to send me their wisdom in private messages. None of us like to be filleted publically.  They invested in my writing with sincerity and honesty. Welcome their insight. Honor them and thank them. They are some of your best allies.

5.  All writing will have mistakes. I have found errors in best sellers where teams of proofreaders had scoured the text assuming it was finally error-free. As a nervous first-time author, I asked Jack Hayford to review the manuscript for my first book, Prayers from the Throne of God, in preparation for him writing the foreword. I was nervous that my first attempt at authoring might have errors. In the beginning, when we are greenhorns, we can be idealistic and na├»ve. Jack gave me some wise advice, “All books will have some kind of mistake. At some point, you just need to make the decision to publish it.” I felt like a load was removed from my shoulders. The first printing of that book had a glaring spelling error on the cover when we spelled “Foreword” wrong. We corrected “Forward” in the next printing.

6.  Park your pride. It will keep you running solo and distance you from the help you will need to create something worth reading.

Happy Writing!

P.S. If you find a grammar error in what you just read….reread number 4.


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