Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Rules of Writing

After attending 3 days worth of writing classes, one might assume I know much about the art of writing. Oh yes, I know that adjectives are not a good thing, they are to be used sparingly. And adverbs - oh my - you should never, ever use an adverb! You need to have a great title and keep it "fresh." Your verbs should be active, and your first sentence needs to have a hook. Yes, I am quite informed on the proper form and rules of writing.

And I am blocked! Oh how I am blocked. My free flowing easy writing style is just killed because I have too much knowledge. My brain is calling out "don't do this" and "don't forget to do that" and make sure you know your audience... and oh yes, use your real voice. I think my real voice is hoarse.

And so I take a step back, and a deep breath. I need to forget what I've learned for a moment. And write! and write! and write! And if I write something I think is worthy to be published - then, I can remember the rules and edit, and edit, and edit. But for now, I'll just write. And I hope you'll keep reading. And one day if I become a famous published author, you can say "I knew her back then!" And if I never do, then hopefully you still have a place to come visit for a chuckle, an inspiration, and a place to chat.

And so I write. Because when God is ready for me to be published, I will be. Because God rules! And rules don't.

Job 36:2 -- Wait for me a little, and I will show you that there is yet more to be said in God's behalf.

Psalm 52:9 -- I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.

Habakkuk 2:2 -- And then God answered: "Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time. (The Message)


MrsProverbs31 said...

Came from Lysa's. Don't have much time, but I like what you said, -"please don't let it hurt too much." You are so fun. Will come back soon to read.

The Patterson 5 said...

I will always come read, famous or not! I love your voice and especially the promises from God you share! Keep at it!!!!

Starr said...

I am having the same problem! I am second guessing EVERYTHING I write. Guess that is natural considering all the info we soaked up over the weekend.
I KNOW you are a great writer, so JUST WRITE! I enjoyed our time in the critique group. You are one smart cookie!
Love and Blessings,

Truth4thejourney said...

This was a great post! I think we are all feeling a little overwhelmed! You have the right idea, to write, then edit, then publish!

My ADHD Me said...

Yes I suppose you do need to follow the "rules" but I like what you write and how you write it. I hope you don't change your style. Also, I bet different conferences would teach different "rules". KEEP IT FROM YOUR HEART.
(that's easy for me to say....I can't even say hello in 50 words or less!)

Bonita said...

And the biggest rule of writing: Write first, revise later!

Love what that verse in Habakkuk says about "write what you see". Get the vision down and you can go back later to apply all the rules. Just as the Old Testament law didn't bring life, neither do a bunch of grammar and writing rules. They have a place, but it's after you've written what's on your heart.

Roxie said...

Keep writing! Love what Bonita said about "Get the vision down and you can go back and apply the rules later." You know they say write first, edit later. I personally have a problem with that, as I want it perfect, but....Keep writing.

I read you post and while I didn't make it to the seminar- I like others have your same fears or doubts. Second guessing what I'm writing, whether people are going to like it, read it, have it published. The answer I keep getting from God is WRITE - he'll deal with the rest. I think the same is true for you.

I also loved that one of your verses was Habakkah 2:2. When God gave me this vision several years ago about writing, he also gave me Habakkah 2:1-3 - Living Bible Translation. "I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the Lord will say to me and how he will answer my complaint. Then the LORD said to me, Write my answer in large, clear letters on a tablet, so that a runner can read it and tell everyone else. But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed."

So slowly, steadily, surely the vision will be fulfilled. Just remember that God has a perfect time table (even though it never seems to be a fast as I want), but he does expect us to be obedient with what he has told us to do. So WRITE - your doing a great job. Blessings, Roxie

Sue J said...

Ah....what else to add? Nothing that hasn't been said, really.

You aren't blocked so much as you are overwhelmed. Once you return to life as you know it, the writing will again flow.

A friend of mine gave me a book called The Artist's Way. It's not a Christian book, although it claims to be spiritual. But, it talks about ways to unblock your creativity. From what I've read so far, just experiencing life and wanting to share what is in your heart and your head and your gut is what's going to drive you to find the words.

And, yes, the results you seek, publishing, will come in God's time.

In the meantime, you have attained quite a blog following--congratulations!

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Hey CK,

Thanks for coming to my blog! I am just so not diligent with my blog, but I am freshly inspired from meeting the blogging greats and have set new goals for my personal blog. My problem is that I always want to start over with a new blog and somehow "do it right!" But I am sticking with my same ol' blog and hoping some folks like you will keep me accountable...

As far as all the great stuff you learned over the weekend, I agree with what the others have said--keep writing and let what you have learned influence your personal editing.

I enjoyed meeting you!

HisPrincess said...

Just relax. It will come. I will come visit either way!

Suzanne Eller (Suzie) said...

That's the key, Kelly. We can't use our right brain and left brain at the same time. It causes a traffic jam that we can't get past. Write your "skeleton" first - your theme, your proposed audience, your hook, your engaging examples, your statistics, quotes, quips, and questions. Then free write. Let it run. Don't stop for anything. Then the next day go back (after you've let it sit) and edit. Turn on the left brain and polish it until it shines.
Thanks for your comments on my workshop at She Speaks. It was such a joy connecting with other writers.