What would you imagine a writer’s life to be like, someone that is endlessly toiling away at a keyboard, a typewriter for those older or hipster enough to imagine? Or with pencil and paper in handwriting and rewriting sections of a novel? For me, that is only a small part of what I envisioned when starting my journey but was only a fraction of the ideal that I was imagining.
When I started to take this craft more seriously, I found that I was only skimming the surface of so much more that I could hardly believe that I had taken such magnificent stories that I read for granted. I did not appreciate the effort it must have taken to craft the plot lines or the character development intricacies, nor did I pay attention to how the authors could pull emotion out of me with a few words on the page. How you could express emotion, direction, action, and all forms of personality in just how those words were arranged or chosen.
Since I started this journey, I have been evaluating how my phrasing and word choice affect how the messages I write or convey affect the audience of that message, from personal notes to friends to highly technical corporate messaging. How have I been arranging the details of what I wanted to share to convey the most information with efficiency and brevity, while still covering the critical message?
The early days…
I began to apply myself in this direction where most people do, I started journaling, trying to write about what was happening and still hone how I was sharing details even with just myself. Did I hook myself in my mini-stories about what happened that day, or did my writing come out as a generic rote retelling of normal events? I have found that by looking back over the posts of the past few years both the ones shared publically and the ones that I have kept in my archives are affected by so much more than just the time of day I am writing it.
How much energy I have to put into the story, what my emotional state was at the time of writing, how much I had recollected about an event, or how detailed I let my imagination get, all came to start shaping that outcome. If your reading this I am sure at this point you are saying, well that is obvious. What was not for me was the degree to how that impact could be leveraged or channeled into the creative endeavor.
Check out Kristen Kieffer’s Well Storied website for some guidance on developing your writing life!
I am going to share my experiences over the last few years and the new ones as I progress on this journey in hopes that you find some of the concepts/anecdotes helpful at most, and entertaining at least. This is very outside of my comfort zone since this gets into more of the core of me, but you don’t grow when you are comfortable.
Let’s start with what should be the beginning of most large endeavors, what is the vision that I want to achieve, and then I will break it down into the goals and actions that I have taken to help me move towards making that vision a reality.