Good evening folks! How is everyone doing?
Tonight I would like to start a new blogging series called “Lessons to Practice.” In each Tuesday night post of this series, I will summarize what I’m learning as I spend 2017 editing, rewriting, and refining my works. Each “Lessons to Practice” installment will also include a brief summary of strategies, tips, and tricks that I’ve gleaned from books, online writing courses, and (hopefully in the near future), a local writing group that I’m a part of!
I’ll start with the book I’m currently reading: Writing with Quiet Hands, by Paula Munier. I’ve spent the last two months reading Munier’s work, and it has proven immensely helpful in not only sharpening my writing skills, but also in honing my dedication to my craft by learning how to write in a timely, purposeful, and consistent manner. After all, I believe that Paula is right when she says that successful writers (1) write, and (2) revise – again, and again, and again.
A valuable key point that I read tonight comes from George Orwell, who said that writers follow their eponymous passion due to any of the following four reasons:
- Sheer egoism (our desire to give a voice to the inimitable skills and writing style that we firmly believe we possess)
- Aesthetic enthusiasm (the joy we get from crafting words, sentences, and whole narratives together in an artistic collage of prose)
- Historial impulse (the desire to understand where we’ve been as a race and where we might be headed, all while recording our activities for posterity)
- Political purpose (writing as a means of advocating, promoting a cause, or challenging societal norms in the hopes of achieving justice)
I’ll use my first manuscript as an example. For In the Words of Your Love, I was driven to write Ross’ tale of heartbreak and redemption because (1) I had a big ego in high school and thought that the best way to get back at a girl was to write about it (I know, I know…I had a super chauvunistic mindset!) However – and this is more important to me -, I also wrote Words because I had (2) a political purpose: to advocate for the underdogs, the high school guys and girls who never really had the chance to express the love that they felt for another person – or were ridiculed for doing so. I love the thought of giving a voice to the less popular but infinitely more creative and hopeful kids of high school, and In the Words of Your Love is for them as much as it is for myself.
Thanks for checking out my first “Lessons to Practice” entry! I would love to hear from you about all your reasons for writing. Are you practicing your craft to stoke your ego, or to make history, or even to drive a political point home? Comment below and let the discussions roll!