Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Writer's Blog

Writer's Blog

It is easier to blog than say, to write a formal report or letter. When we are blogging, we just let go: grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and rambling sentences are tolerated as long as the message gets through.

But we often freeze whenever we are asked to write formally on a particular subject or topic; the mind goes completely blank. We don't know how to start. Why? Most of the time it's because we try too hard. We try to put on the straight-jacket of form, style and substance, paralyzing our writing in the process. Sometimes we unconsciously attempt to immitate another writer and failing to do so, we end up feeling frustrated.

A lot times, we try to get it perfect on the first attempt. That's not possible. We forget that most of the books out there in the market have gone through a thorough process of editing and rewriting. What's important is to get thoughts out on paper first. We cannot write and edit at the same time in our heads. These are two independent processes. Do one thing at a time; one word at a time.

In Finding Forrester, directed by Gus Van Sant, Sean Connery, playing an aging writer, gives a piece of good advice to his young protege (Rob Brown):
"No thinking - that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is to write, not to think"
By writing freely without inhibitions, we allow our thoughts to free-associate and this opens up interesting possibilities. We are able to tap into the fount of creativity and ideas would flow out incessantly. The results can sometimes be quite amazing.

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