Thoughts On Writing

Some of the best bloggers write with profound depth and a certain delectable flourish I may never acquire in this lifetime. I’ve a good sense to know they belong to an elite league I can never hope to join. And I’ll be okay with that. Nice thing that I’m one of the most ardent readers in this world, and so what I cannot attain to write I will read in all relish from other more naturally endowed writers.

Love letters and sappy poems I have written and occasionally reread either make me smile or feel sheepish. Inspirational author Sarah Ban Breathnach had said writers often write letters meant to their beloved but always end up seducing themselves instead. That simply validates the magic of the printed word, doesn’t it?

I enjoy sprinkling my compositions with adjectives and adverbs. Likewise, writing in pyrotechnics style can be counted as one of my brash endeavors. I’m wary things might get over the top yet I don’t want to restrain myself either. I intend to be venturesome in some of my approaches here. Not to worry, I’ll make an effort not to go overboard. I can be critical at how I put my words together too. And if ever I’d goof up or overdone it, I would simply hope for the good grace of my readers to forgive and bear with me.

I admit to being guilty of committing more than a few writing sins. Among them is indulging in the use of clichés and hackneyed expressions. I also constantly battle with the problem of dealing with identical words appearing in the same sentence or an adjoining one. Reconstructing a sentence is said to be a sound solution here which I aim to become more at ease at.

I’m not exactly a fan of writing rules and advice, even if they come from the gurus or well-known writers. The use of the passive voice, and running to the thesaurus for assistance have been disapproved by some. I don’t exactly get the reasons why.

I personally believe you can be on your own when it comes to this art and your particular class of readers will simply find you. You eventually evolve with your writing and style. The possibilities are endless. Your capacity can be limitless.

All in the name of good writing I hope.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned: “The most original modern authors are not so because they advance what is new, but simply because they know how to put what they have to say, as if it had never been said before.”

A writer has to have a rich vocabulary to make an impact on me. If your flavorful vocabulary is arranged in the right places, the prose becomes more spirited and spellbinding. I believe too that brevity and simplicity aren’t obligatory in the pursuit of sound writing. As long you can hold my attention and interest with the flow of your delivery, then write on.

My site stats have improved reasonably as of late. Sure I’m like all the other bloggers who glimpse at their stat sites every now and then. The rush I get in watching the numbers climb can be exhilarating. To think that I didn’t even bother to touch this account for some four months last year because I was engrossed in my job teaching a certain someone who badly needed my help.

I confess though that earning a reasonable number of readers is not what I really came here for. To reiterate, this blog I have always intended to dedicate to my only child. My all-time favorite American icon Steve Jobs had told his last biographer Walter Isaacson, whom he had chosen and personally asked to pen his life story, he wanted his children to know him as a person. Hence, Isaacson’s authorized biography of Jobs was realized soon after the latter’s death. I had wanted the same thing for a long time now, albeit I wouldn’t want to wait until I’m at death’s door to pen and wrap up my life saga.

It had got me thinking; wouldn’t it be wonderful if my son knew what his mother was like when she was young or what had gone through her mind at certain times?

I guess I need to get the ball rolling very soon as the slowing down of my mind might come in the not so distant future. One of my biggest regrets in life is I didn’t keep a diary in my younger years which means I’ve been struggling from scratch nowadays.

You may ask, ‘why do it in the blogosphere?’ 

Because of the chance that I may elevate the quality of whatever writing I hope to produce here, knowing the possibility a few kindred souls might unwittingly take a peek.

WordPress has advised not to spotlight too much on the “me, me, me” side of blogging if we want wider readership. But 90% of the blogs I’ve subscribed to and enjoy nonetheless are about the bloggers themselves, their lives and all essentially about them, them, them,.. which I certainly don’t mind.

So I intend to start anytime soon. Things will snowball perhaps. I just pray I won’t grate on my readers’ nerves.


4 thoughts on “Thoughts On Writing

  1. Marjorie,
    I was reading your blog again, and for some reason, I didn’t remember reading this gem of a posting the first time through. You are amazing to me.

    I really don’t understand why you feel that you are not at a similar level to your fellow bloggers, when I read such interesting posts as this one. You have an enormously appealing technique, and your honesty in acknowledging your limits, even though I don’t agree necessarily with your estimations, is quite refreshing to read. So few of us are able to look at our own writing with such an open mind as you do, and I admire this quality very much.

    Writing love letters may be some of the most important writing that takes place on the planet, and I haven’t read a single poem of yours that I thought was “sappy,” but it really doesn’t matter what I think. As the poet, you are the one who must know what is of value to you, and regardless of what anyone else might say, your poetry is uniquely yours, and that gives it the most value it can have.

    I would not restrain you in any way in your writing. I would say, remove ANY restraints when it comes to writing, and after you have written in an UNRESTRAINED way, maybe set it aside for a little while, and then do some editing. Some of the best writing ever came out of spontaneous release from within the writer’s soul, and YOUR soul is very beautiful to me.

    Your interest in writing to share with your son who YOU are struck me as one of the most important reasons for writing…..period. What a wonderful motivation for writing!

    Please consider ME a kindred soul. I’m doing a lot more than peeking. I am loving your blog!

    Sorry it took me so long to catch up. I’m a fan now for sure……John H.

  2. You wrote, “The use of the passive voice, and running to the thesaurus for assistance have been disapproved by some. I don’t exactly get the reasons why.” The paragraphs you wrote following this kind of answer the latter question. When you write from the heart, you are most authentic (and therefore compelling and interesting). When you’re constantly running to the thesaurus, you’re not writing from your own heart.

    There’s nothing wrong with looking up a word, phrase or quote if you already have some sense of what you’re trying to say. And a thesaurus is a fine reference if you’re looking for a new word to avoid repeats, but you should use it as a reminder and pick only words you know well. When you pick words at random, your writing won’t flow.

    The passive voice just sounds weaker than the active voice. Writing in active voice grabs the reader more than passive does. (“The reader is grabbed more by active voice than by passive.” See the difference? More importantly, feel the difference?)

    • I agree with everything you’ve said. It’s just that I love using a variety of words, so I can’t help using a thesaurus when writing a blog post. I’m also aware of how overloading words, especially unnecessary ones, causes my sentence to sink, yet I’ve seen how other good writers were able to get away with it :-). Passive voice can be fun to use, too. Sometimes. He he.
      You write from the heart, WS. Many men are not able to do that – which makes your blog all the more special.

      • The thing is, if you don’t start somewhere, you don’t get anywhere. There’s nothing wrong with using a thesaurus or dictionary or any other source as a tool for good writing. Writing, at the very least, is a skill like any other, and it takes practice to master.

        They say that gaining a true facility with anything (complex) takes 10,000 hours of experience. Playing a musical instrument, flying a plane, developing spreadsheets, writing good prose… all skills that take time and effort to achieve.

        So keep writing! Keep using the thesaurus. In time the writing flows easier and you need the tools less.


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