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How To Write

December 13th, 2008

Instead of reading this, why don’t you enter my giveaway? I’d erase this post altogether, but that would be in direct opposition to my Tip #1 included below, in the midst of this drivel I’d rather you ignore.

 

How to write. I ask myself this question almost every day. Because I overthink, and because I second guess, and because I doubt, and because I can be better, but I don’t know how.

 

Writing is like combing hair. You stand in front of the mirror trying to coax your hair into shape. And a strand falls out of place, so you comb it, but in combing that strand, you’ve mussed the other strands and there is no way in hell all the hair strands will stay neat and in place, because each strand lies atop another and the ripple effect says you could comb all night and still, your hair won’t be perfect.

 

I look around. I read what’s out there. I get impressed. I wish I could write like that. I hang my head in shame. I wonder what all the great writing has in common. I agonize over writing. I re-read my stuff and I cringe. It is clunky and it is trying too hard and it is ineloquent and it’s not funny or touching. My voice doesn’t shine through, and if it does, I find it annoying.

 

Sometimes I think I’ve got it figured out. There are all different kinds of writing, but there are common threads.

 

But maybe it comes down to the one thing that eludes me…my How To Write Tip #1:

 

Be Confident.

Just put it out there. Your voice. Don’t erase stuff you think is inappropriate. Have faith in your word choice. Don’t self censor. Adopt a sure tone that tells the world you are in charge of your prose. I love reading people who say the silliest things or the most painful things or the deepest things or the most asshole things and just let their souls seep unto the page without saying sorry. It’s so pure. And honestly, I’ve read some pretty crappy writing that sounds a whole hell of a lot better simply because the author sounds like they could care less what I think. But confidence applies mostly to good writing.

I think.

 

Pretty sure my highest self just talked to me.

 

p.s. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s about time for my bi-monthly “why can’t I write?” post. And for you newbies, this is when I question my abilities and skill set and draw the conclusion (as you so surely have) that I can’t construct literary sentences and who do I think I am anyway?

 

p.p.s. As much as I love what you have to say, I don’t want this to be a “gimme” post (tell me I look good naked! tell me I can write! tell me you love me!), so I respectfully ask that you act like I don’t exist. And yes, I’m on my period.

 

On December 13th, 2008, matteroffactmommy said:

i’m a shitty writer and stuff.
haha. seriously, i think i’ve gotten better since i started my blog. because i read several excellent writers and it kinda rubs off on you after a while.
as far as self-confidence. meh. i’m confident when it comes to many things, but certainly not when it comes to my writing! i’m constantly second-guessing and trying to think of a “big word” to use, like “vapid” or “verbose” in my posts, but always end up using dumbed down words like, “shallow” and “talks a lot” or something.
i have too much time on my hands today. i’m sorry for that.
finally, you’re an amazing writer! now shut the fuck up and take some Pamprin. (i love you.)

On December 13th, 2008, vodkamom said:

THis is what I’ve discovered by blogging. We are ALL unique and talented in our own way. There are writers out there who an weave a beautiful tapestry with their words. Some make me cry, some make me wonder, some make me think, and others make me laugh! I will TRY not to be jealous, and I also try to believe that my own little voice is just that- my own. And, to thine own self- be true.

right?

On December 13th, 2008, vodkamom said:

AND, might I add, I love YOUR voice.

On December 13th, 2008, stoneskin said:

I relate.

I find it enfuriating because I tend to develop an idea in my mind during the day, then write it out “off the cuff”, then proof read, then post.

Then, I spot a zillion grammatical errors, remember a zillion points, gags and lines that I was going to include, and then spot some dumb typo right at the end.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAargh.

On December 13th, 2008, Midlife Mama said:

LOL I so feel your angst. I want to write so badly it almost leaks out my pores, but I “what if” myself into writer’s block because I am so afraid it will be “wrong.” And you are so right about finding your own voice. I am wayyyyyyyyy to sensitive to the criticism of others, so what often comes out in my writing is what I want other people to hear. Because I want them to like me. Because I’m just that insecure. LOL

And why can I write a brilliant blog post in my head while standing in line at the Post Office, only to totally forget what it was about when I get home?? LOL

On December 13th, 2008, tinsenpup said:

You look sooo good naked. Oh sorry…I mean you write good.

On December 13th, 2008, Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said:

I read tinsepup’s commnet and forgot what I was going to say.

On December 13th, 2008, Renée aka Mekhismom said:

Me too! I have my period. What did you think I meant? Actually I question my ability to write on a daily basis. One of the main reasons I started my blog was to get back in the habit of writing. I am still working on it. And you my dear have nothing to worry about!

On December 13th, 2008, Jenn @ Juggling Life said:

You could be like me and think you’re not a writer and then be really happy if anyone ever mistakes you for one.

Your voice is unmistakeable.

On December 14th, 2008, kate said:

deb who? i don’t know who you’re talking about.

On December 14th, 2008, Barrie Summy said:

You definitely know how to write. Definitely. xo

On December 14th, 2008, vodkamom said:

wait, did I miss seeing someone naked?

On December 14th, 2008, Jessica Bern said:

I can’t go back and read my posts because I too cringe. Name me one writer who doesn’t at some point think, “man, do I suck or what?”

On December 14th, 2008, Last Place Finisher said:

I just go to to other people’s blogs, copy their words, and then paste them into my blog. It’s so much easier than writing.

On December 14th, 2008, g said:

sometimes I feel like I just can’t stand my own words. Sometimes I feel like there’s no way I can put this thing I’m feeling into words so someone will understand it. sometimes I feel like I’m unable to describe even the most basic of human feelings.

And then I’ll go out and see something totally unrelated that inspires me and the words just flow and flow and flow.

One of the reasons I love your PROMPTuesdays is that they create so many moments like that. It’s the gift YOU”RE giving me, and other bloggers.

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