Home | Posts RSS | Comments RSS | Login

Finding Your Voice

Monday, December 21, 2009
Work with schools : writing a composition : gi...
Ever since high school I've written things on my own, just for fun and mostly for myself. I always knew I wanted to write, but didn't really have much to say. Or I didn't feel that writing without an audience was terribly useful. Unless you're writing for therapeutic reasons (which I have also done), why write if no one will read it, and perhaps comment on it? I know there are a lot of valid answers to this question, but I hadn't yet found any for me. Until about a year ago. I started writing a blog for the local newspaper. This then led me to write for GeekDad. I haven't looked back. While I have put a lot of work into the GeekDad blog (and some into the newspaper one) over 2009, and haven't gotten paid much, if anything, for that hard work, it has been so personally satisfying that it's all been worth it. Plus the free review copies don't hurt. It has been like a giant unpaid internship, where I can learn, make mistakes, and personally grow without the pressure of it being a real job. I am making friends, making contacts, and having a great time. I can't wait to see where else it will lead.

The whole writing thing... In some ways, writing is easy. Sometimes the words just flow out like water from a faucet. And sometimes it is nearly impossible to come up with anything eloquent or it all sounds like gibberish. I don't always know which one of those I'll get until I start to write, so it is hard to be prolific. The best posts I've written are ones that I didn't spend a lot of time on. The worst ones are also the ones I didn't spend a lot of time on. The rest I put a lot of work into. And so it goes.

I'm learning about my process as it unfolds. Usually, especially with a review or something on which I've taken notes, there are three phases to writing. One, get all the ideas down, preferably in some semblance of order. Two, rearrange, add, subtract, and generally organize the post, making major changes. Three, fine tune it, fixing minor errors and omissions. Once in a while, I have to do a fourth pass, if pass number one was a real mess. And also, once in a while, I get lucky and get away with two passes.

But it all gets easier, the more I write. I'm sure others have experienced the same thing. Unlike some people, I am not compelled to write, but when it's easy, it's a great feeling. When it's hard, it does feel a lot like work. But that happens less and less.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

1 comments to Finding Your Voice:

Dave said...

My first job out of school was writing advertising copy, which I did for about 5 years. After a year of writing every (business) day, I was able to get what I wanted out of a first draft pretty much every time. These days, I routinely have to hit everything with a fifth, sixth and - sometimes - seventh pass. There's a lot to be said for practice. (And something to be said for being a prefetcionist.) :)