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Write On!
What If You Just Wish?
By Ken Robinson
March, 2006, 15:35

hat do you wish for? To turn a jumble of words into prose? To wax poetic?

Or is it bigger than that? An end to world hunger? Maybe world peace?

Or is it smaller? You hope your tank of gas will last all week since your bank account has a big goose egg in it.

It all can come true. Want to know how? Wishing; uh, no. Wanting; maybe. Trying; don’t think so. “I tried,” means you failed in the attempt. What’s left? Don’t know? Give up? What in the world could make any or all of that happen?

Don’t you watch TV? Hasn’t that sound bite of sound bites sunk in yet? Alright, alright, let’s not waste anymore time or words. Just do it!

If wishing or just wanting could do it, I wouldn’t see those wrenching infomercials with children that have their eyes covered with flies. That situation wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t avoid watching the local news so I wouldn’t be depressed to see how bad people really are to one another. Oh yeah, my mom would still be here.

If you can’t be Miss Universe where they know if they keep saying, “I want world peace,” they might win; then make some magic of your own. The magic here is in the words. But not those words. “If” is a magic word. If you want it to happen. If you are prepared. If you are persistent. If, if, if.

But it can be twisted into its deviant form as well. If I try. If I can’t. You don’t want to be counting your “ifs” at the end of it all saying, “What if I had just... ”

How does it work? It’s quite simple in theory and in practice. Put pen to paper or finger to key and begin. That’s the theory and it takes a lot of practice.

One way you could practice with prose is by doing some research on new subsistence farm practices and writing about it – perhaps assisting farmers, who are trying to make something grow on the edge of the encroaching desert, get by with just a little bit less water in the process.

Or how women in the back of nowhere in India are connecting their villages to the world by literally becoming “Ma Bell” in their village with cell phones.

You could wax philosophic about how the world or even back-yard peace can be achieved, even if it is in your own back-yard. Write about how you made the effort with your neighbour from hell, and at least put out the flames, even if the embers are still smoldering.

If it blows up in your face, writing about failures may allow someone else to bypass that mistake and make progress that much more quickly with their neighbour; whether they are smug used-car salesmen or tyrannical dictators starving people into submission. In no way, shape or form am I linking the two. Really, I mean it. Come on, I’m serious.

Anyway, how does this help with that goose egg in your bank account that has now cracked and is bleeding red all over your face? In accounting and your bank account, being in the red is not good, being in the black is. Sort of ironic huh.

If you put some elbow grease into the submission process you may be able to sell these articles to a newspaper, magazine, trade paper, Internet news, or someplace that is looking for what you know you have the chops to produce.

They are always looking – you just have to make them see you.

So, Write On!IN Icon

Regular IN Ken Robinson grew up and lives in Oklahoma. After five years in Ireland, he's been writing screenplays for two and a half years. Four of his scripts have been optioned by Woofenil Works, two low-budget projects now in preproduction, as well as West Law. His email address is:

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