Monday, June 10, 2013

A Writer's Love and Dreams

By Laurie Epps

A great boost of self esteem. That's what most of us need as writers, but what maybe we haven't considered is that perhaps we aren't open to the very thing we think we need so much. So break out your copy of Writing Down the Bones, and open your heart and mind. Spill those moments onto the page, and let the conversation begin.

Don't Use Writing to Get Love
pp. 62-64

Sometimes as writers we get confused. A writer at gunpoint proclaimed, "I am a writer!" We forget that life and our writing are separate entities.

As writers we seek support every moment. We seek encouragement, but yet we shut down the sender of it. We believe the negativity, and the criticisms, but yet we shut down the compliments and words of praise. We undermine the the speaker's encouragement with our dismissive comments like, "Well, you're supposed to say that because you're my friend/boss/partner." Instead we should also remember that even though every thing we write isn't always good, it isn't always bad either.

I know that I struggle with this... we start writing real garbage, and then when we do a good job, we don't see it. Of course, that's what a good editor is for. So if they tell you it's good, maybe you should try to believe them. When has something like that happened to you? Please share it with us below.

What Are Your Deep Dreams?
pp. 65-66

What are your dreams? This talks about spending some time with them, and starting to make your dreams more concretely. When we can see our dreams in written form, we have a better chance of making them a reality. Some of them may be ludicrous but it will give us a better idea of who we are.

I think this exercise isn't just good for writers, but also for anyone trying to do a little goal setting. Have you ever kept a dream journal? Or have you ever plotted out your life? For example, where will I be in five years, or three years? What were the results? Please share it with us below.

pp. 67-71

This one challenges me the most. I like control, and I especially like control of what I write. To outline it, Goldberg says to take 3-4 lines of something boring you wrote and then jumble up the words and write them down. Next add punctuation and see what emerges.

Have you ever constructed a brilliant outline and then had it not turn out how you had planned? Or had the reverse happen, where the outline helped keep you on track? Please share with us your story below.

Nervously Sipping Wine
pp. 72-74

Response: This is another analogy for free-writing and ventures to absurdity. What Goldberg doesn't talk about is that I believe this technique has its limits.  While this technique is effective in breaking through writers block, when you're looking to sell a technical piece especially, the absurdity will undermine the overall integrity of the piece.

Where do your ideas come from? Have you ever used free-writing to jump start your brain? Include us in your process below, and join the conversation.

Laurie Epps is a non-fiction author, essayist, editor, and poet living in Anderson, South Carolina. A seeker of beauty, her is dream is to travel the world one day and tell the many stories of those she meets. To read more of Laurie's stories come back here for her column about Poetry on Thursdays, or follow her Tuesday column dedicated to writing on: 

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