What is the Secret of Writing?

As a professional writer I get asked this question a lot. This is just about the first question I’m asked when other people find out what I do for a living. I get it from adults unable to get a grasp on the art of writing, or younger people that want to write for a living when they grow up. The only answer I have found that comes close to the truth of how I got to be a professional writer is pretty simple yet incredibly hard for some to understand. I simply write.

Yes, having the ability to write is more than likely a gift some people have. I personally can write but if you were to put me in a kitchen and ask me to make a meal or bake a masterful cake? Nope. You’ll have yourself a kitchen on fire and I’ll more than likely have caused myself some pretty severe burns in the process. I don’t have a gift for cooking. A lot of people can make beautiful dishes with ease. I’m not one of those people. My gift is for writing. This may sound like a negative for a lot of potential writers or those hoping for a career in writing. It may be true that being a professional writer requires some gifted attributes but that doesn’t mean learning to write well or enjoy writing has to be innate.

Anyone can learn to write clearly and cleanly. I call this my CC Law. As a frequent watcher of terrible hospital shows, I always hear the fake doctors scampering around calling out that they need 2-5 CC’s of something. For me, Clearly and Cleanly are the two CC’s I offer to those learning how to write competently.

The first C is writing clearly. A writer always needs to make sure they got their point across. If you read over what you’ve just written and have no earthly idea what you were trying to say, you’re going to need to toss it and start again. Trying to manipulate what you’ve just written is likely to make it even harder to uncover the main point.

The second C is for cleanly. More often than not a writer can get bogged down with making their point and then adding in fluff. For a novice writer this can be a dangerous method. If you’re not used to writing and playing with language, trying to do so when learning the basics of writing well can do more harm than good. Sticking to the basics when learning to write with the CC’s is important and will prevent you from getting too far off the writing path.

Remember the CC’s and you’ll be on your way to writing well!

Write On!

No writer is cut from the same cloth. We can be sheared from flannel or light lace, and some of us prefer to toss the cloth out and stick with something like leather. And that’s okay because, as mentioned, no writer is the same. We can sit down at a computer and jot out miles of text without hesitation and other times we hit walls with such force that it takes a major awakening to get us back in the saddle. We dive headfirst into the canon of great literature and come up for air only when we’ve had our fill of ancient text. This is the life of a writer.

So when it comes to indulging in a little creative writing the get a little bit mixed. There are no hard and fast instructions when it comes to creative writing. Grammar can get fuzzy and the style in which you write isn’t nearly as important as it would be in other forms. Famous writers and best-sellers have been known to present all the stretched randomness of creative writing in their text. Sentences stop in the middle. Single words make up entire sentences. Writers have been known to go on for pages without as much as a single comma or period to break up the madness. My personal writing style tends to learn towards this. I’ve made a career off of writing in a style that could garner some raised brows from conservative critics of writing. My stories have always had fun with traditional grammar rules. I use question marks like they’re going out of style. That being said, having the ability to write with a more creative flair first comes from knowing what the traditional rules of grammar and technical writing actually are. There has to be a foundation before a weird, exciting, hilarious house can be built atop it.

This blog will focus on a mixture of both. Topics will range from the usual grammar mistakes to the fun that can be had with creative writing. But the main theme of this blog will always be how to have fun with your writing. Whether you’re a professional writer in the same boat as I am, or new to the world of creative writing and want to take a crack at writing your own stories, you’ll find help here.

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