As usual before a workshop, I pick up a coffee to take with me. And so it was that on a recent Sunday morning I drove the roundabout way to The Ink Spot to stop at Starbucks for my regular Americano. As I waited at the light, a young man crossed the street in front of me. Slender, wearing jeans and a long-sleeved blue pullover, he carried what could have been a journal, could have been a book.
We’ve all heard it before, from writing teachers and well-published authors and in books about writing: Read your work aloud to really discover what you’ve written and whether or not it’s “working.” There are lots of other reasons for giving voice to your words.
Dear Lively Muse,
What is the most important thing about writing?
Just Starting Out
Dear Just Starting,
The most important thing about writing is writing. Until you have words on the page you don’t have anything to work with. You may have an idea, but thinking about an idea isn’t writing. Besides, ideas are never the same on the page as they are in your head. It’s OK if you don’t know where you’re going or what you want to say. Just trust the pen or your fingers on the keyboard and get something down. Begin anywhere. Write anything. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar. You can clean it up later. Don’t stop to re-read or edit or fix until you’ve finished. When you do, you move from that white-hot place of intuition and imagination and into a cerebral place of judging, evaluating, comparing. There’s a time and place for that, but not in the first flush of creating.
Use the prompts to get started and trust the process.
Good writing! The Lively Muse