Sometimes, with writing as with birthing — even if you are not gestating a specific topic, but rather just holding the intention to create or produce something someday — there is a need to let the energy of it grow. Then, when sufficient energy has accumulated, a huge force pushes the creation out of you, giving it life. You examine what you've created, and you cannot believe you had it in you.
Yes, that's a bit of a dramatic case for procrastination, but that's what it feels like for me. Even when what comes out is not the gift the world has been waiting for, still it has been a huge and — once done — relieving effort. Although my description sounds like the pain of writing, I believe it is also the pleasure of it.
So pick a... no, you don't even have to start there. Just write. See what comes out, and then identify in what genre and style you wrote. This way you are free to release it; let it come out in its natural glory — needing a good wash and swaddle. When you discover what you unreservedly birthed — I mean wrote — then you can start to shape and guide it into the piece that you really want to produce.
Did you write something that resembles a poem? Did you write something that could — maybe — be a short story? OK. But what you've always really wanted to write was a screenplay. Great. Now, take your conception that naturally came out, and learn what it needs in order to shape it into your screenplay. Love your writing unconditionally. Nurture it into what you want to contribute to the world.
As usual, the suggestions I make are not the easiest to follow, but if they at least make you think, then I've given you something. And as always, our articles in this edition of IN are here to help you along.
Billie Williams brings us reviews of three books to inspire your character development, your fiction-writing process, and your desire to be a playwright. Jonathan Dorf guides you through the challenging act of revising and refining your play with Part I of a two-part series. If you know you want to write a play specifically for children but don't know where to start, Steve Cross points you in the write direction.
Our resident basketball editor Diego Jesus takes us to a court of a different sort in Journalism. M. Y. Mim continues her examination of what makes great writing in the second of her three-part series, and Mark Daoust begins a two-part series on what RSS is and how it can work for you.
Christopher Teague looks at poems from two accomplished writers to illustrate how prose poetry can be a comfortable introduction to the poetic muse. Gene Lenore explains the idiosyncrasies of broadcast journalism, and Judy Adourian suggests an excellent way to make what you write bring home the bacon from a range of marketplaces.
In Useful News, Mark London gives us ideas for finding agents and shares a website with us that could offer an alternative writing gig. Need a publisher? Our own Q&A guru Joan Neubauer's WordWright may be of help. Consider the flash fiction contest hosted by Mindprints, and check out our Events section for updated listings of conferences, lectures, and workshops to continue the development of your talent.
This month, Canada lost a national treasure with the passing of Kenneth Thomson. As Rowdy Rhodes honours this nobleman's contributions, we have the opportunity to glimpse what makes a man successful.
Thank you to everyone who wrote in this past month. It's very useful and gratifying to hear from you. Your communication with us is most important in guiding the direction of this publication. Without your input, we are working in the dark. Please continue to let us know what you want and how we are doing. We're doing it all for you.
Julie A. Pierce
Inkwell Newswatch (IN)