WEEDING OUT YOUR WRITING Written by Arleen M. Kaptur
Weeding Out Your Writing
An accepted fact with any garden is that there will be weeds. Some have a lot and some have a few. However many there are, one thing is for certain. People pull them out, and throw them away. Weeds drain needed moisture and strength from plants that will produce harvest we are expecting. But weeds do have a purpose, and a very important one at that. Sometimes its weeds that give gardener incentive to go out to garden and tend to his plants. The plants, in turn, get needed attention they deserve and they grow better and produce more. So, weeds are not all that bad!
When we write, we plant seeds of ideas in articles, stories, and other written material. They begin to grow with embellishment such as descriptive language, conversation, and subplots. Many times we sit back to admire our handiwork and lo and behold! there are weeds. Spell check was having a bad day, or your embellishments describe a glacier instead of a small mountain stream. It’s time to get out there and weed. Maybe conversations are too long and there are too many unfamiliar phrases that are only understood by those in certain parts of country. One thing to remember is that your book or article may be read by people all over world. If you use “local” language, it may take some readers “a bit” to figure it out. As for descriptive phrases, they must be kept in perspective. A wild, ferocious, angry puma is by no means in same class as that nasty neighborhood cat that claws your screens and climbs your trees. Of course, he/she may appreciate build-up but your readers might get wrong impression. Or, on another note, maybe this cat is a supercat with super powers and therefore description is right. Only you writer can make that call!
The Writer's MindWritten by Jeff Heisler
The Writer's Mind
I've always felt that writers aren't smarter or more creative than non-writers. I think difference between a writer and a non-writer is that a writer doesn't have enough sense to know this should be difficult. Writing and creativity are products of mind- not extraordinary minds- every mind. You can also tap into this creative power by learning a few simple tricks. Recognize that your brain is awesome, but it has limits. It has a difficult time changing gears from one mode of thinking to another. Remember trying to get through math class right after lunch? Your mind was focused on social realm and until it completed transition, math was unnaturally difficult. The same is true for creativity. Learn creative modes and keep them away from each other. Never try to do two of these at same time. Each has it's own place. Here are modes: • Creative Freestyle- If you''ve ever sat down and scribbled out a great poem without much thinking, this is mode you were in. This is also mode you’re in when you’re in "the zone." When you’re actually entering prose and your mind opens like a floodgate- that's freestyle creative mode. In this mode there is no logic and no criticism. If you’re thinking critically or in logical, sequential terms- then you’ll and hamper your creativity. • Logical Freestyle- This is plotting and outlining mode. You should be thinking in practical terms here. Times, dates, events, orders, locations. This is mode of structure and planning. It is creative, but only in sense that you creatively organize. Criticism is still out, and if you find yourself immersed in creative thought that’s not related to logical planning- you're in wrong zone.