07 November 2013

The writer's craft

Sometimes I find myself doing less actual typing, than thinking about what subject might be worth exploring. I also find I start about 3 posts for each you might see. If that does not strike you as an efficient model; we agree. So of late I have been asking myself why this model seems ingrained.

For us old sorts, the blog, Facebook, and Twitter, all are new territory. We do not, at least most of us, see them as quite the same as a blank piece of paper. To give you some sense of how this era differs from my memory consider that I was taught at Lyons Township High School, (an institution now as then proud of its academic excellence) that all writing has four essential steps: topic selection, research, outline, rough draft (typically in pencil or ballpoint,) and final form (if possible typed by someone else.)

I can recall sitting in an assembly of junior students, that is, 17 year old kids, learning about one advantage of a co-ed college over an all male one - girls working their way typing for only a few cents per page. Of course that was the same year Mrs. Kennedy in an interview, said that politics was a great career for a girl because if she married the right politician, she would be near the center of American life! Times change.

That rather facile observation, that times change, is visible in how we older sorts look at writing a blog, Facebook post, or a Tweet. We think of them as something other than writing. And we can make a case. What writer would use, "OMG," or :-) in any written (and especially typed) communication? The answer might surprise us, if we asked our grand children. As English spreads in waves from England, Canada, and the US, it becomes ever more creoles of itself.

If the tools, research, outlines, staged drafts, worked so well in schools, when I was confronted with a sheet of paper, why do they not work on the blank screen? Actually, in my case, the do work at least some of the time. This blog is several things: my reaction to news - political, ecclesiastical, or just interesting; my on again off again spiritual journal writing; some longer essays; and even some recipes. So how they work shifts from form to form.

My experience is that when I go away from the tools, and that blank screen a while, I produce more for a while. Stay tuned, that may be about to happen!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We await greatness in the making.

St Laika's

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