LEARNING HOW TO WRITE Copyright 2004, Michael LaRocca
As a student of Spanish, my goal was to think in Spanish. Skip word-by-word translation so I'd have necessary speed to speak and listen. I know words in Spanish that I'd be hard pressed to translate. Usually profanity, I confess. Chingow!
For years my students here in China have studied grammar, and know it better than you or I. They read. They write. But speaking involves moving faster than that. In conversation, we don't have time to write it first and make sure it's all grammatically flawless, then read it aloud, perhaps after a bit of rehearsal.
So, I try to give them a chance to practice putting words together on fly, rules be damned. The rules they've internalized will kick in and keep them comprehensible, which will build their confidence in their ability to keep creating conversation that way.
This is not unlike what we go through as authors. First we study rulebooks, perhaps take some classes, and conclude just about everything we're is doing is wrong. So many rules to memorize. We might dread sitting down to write with all those constraints.
But really, it's not about memorizing rules at all. It's about internalizing rules, following them (or not if you prefer) without being consciously aware of what they are. They're there, but in background.
The story's what matters. You're supposed to be having fun, not "working." At least not during creation phase.