We are immensely fortunate to have a document from Liv Esteban which provides a guide for how to write. This document was originally developed for her Type + Writer class on JessicaSprague.com which includes a discussion on typography as well. Still thinking about it :)
Below you will find my response to the topics and the advice given, not much of the knowledge provided, just my reaction to it!
Find your writing time and space: I have finally realized that I prefer to type. I always have a notebook in my purse (translation: portable trunk) but I prefer the speed, control and options on the computer. Given that this is the case, my time and space is somewhat limited, though I have been known to bring my MacBook Pro to the rink on occasion. Liv is right, I have to dedicate specific time. The space is not really the issue though I generally do my best "writing" in the kitchen amid the hustle and bustle that is my world. If I am really into what I'm doing I'll bring the computer into the car when I'm picking up the kids or send it to myself via my Blackberry.
Always have a pen and notebook handy: though the Blackberry is replacing this concept, I do always have a mechanical pencil and notebook in my portable trunk. I'm a pencil kinda girl.
Develop the habit: yup, working on it! Right now I just have to give myself permission that this is something that I want to do. This is something I'm good at. This is something worth doing.
Believe that you have something important to say: yeah. There's the kicker. In her document, Liv says, "All too often we allow that little bad guy with horns to sit on our shoulder and whisper in our ear, "Now come on, who in the world would want to read what you write?" We do. Your family does. years from now, generations to come will want to hear what you had to say.
Write what matters: I do know that when you write with conviction, your passion comes through in your words. The energy on the page reflects that of the writer. I am not interested in writing about fluff ... fluff to me. I can ramble on and on (I know, I know) ad nauseum about my children, my political views, my religious beliefs, my interest in photography, my favourite pieces of art. No doubt, those topics are fluff and nonsense to someone, but not to me. And, maybe not to you!
Know for whom you're writing: can I tell you how happy I was to read that title, written in proper English and everything! Not ending in a preposition. I so felt like this is the course for me! I suppose for writing to be meaningful, it has to be written to someone or something. Normally, I write for me. Even in my scrapbooks, they are so "in the moment" that I forget that perhaps, just maybe" my grandbabies and their grandbabies will be reading my words and seeing my photos and witnessing what happened in the "old days".
Read, read, read: most, not all, great authors are great readers. I have had a love affair with books since I was able to open a board book by myself. That was a long, long time ago!
Love words: and I do. A long time ago I had an extensive vocabulary. Then I had kids! I went from multi-syllabic speech to mono-syllabic speech! Another great reason to keep reading. I'm sure no one was hit with "baby brain" as severely as I was, but not many women I know have four pregnancies, four kids in five years. There's my excuse, I'm sticking with it! The beauty is that when you keep reading (once the kids are old enough to leave you alone long enough) the vocabulary comes back. Even better? You really start to understand their meaning and use them in new ways, even the ways they were intended.
Draft and revise: is the hardest part of writing for me. Often what you see is what you get. I'll check for spelling mistakes and grammatical error, but boy do I ever dislike revising and revising. I know it's important. But sometimes knowing and doing something about it aren't the same thing!
Grammar, style and you: the love triangle is an interesting concept and one which I must pay better attention. I do okay with the grammar and style, but sometimes I forget things like adjectives and nouns leaving the recipient to figure out what I mean. Lingering baby brain, I'm sure. I'm a rule kinda girl so grammar, I get. The rebel in my heart appreciates that style will allow me to break some rules. Now I just have to figure it out.
Pay attention: in this we are asked to write about how we lived, laughed and loved. In order to do this we have to be observant. It's the little things that make a life. It's the little things that make our journaling better.
This was a fantastic exercise in which to start this project. I can already feel my brain engaging! I'm looking forward to the upcoming projects. Reading all of the "sparks" have been stimulating, intimidating and fun.
Are you taking the course? What do you think? Are you as excited as I am to get writing?