A Bunch Of Thoughts About Words & Writing

Day No. 07 of the 2015 Ten Ideas A Day Challenge 

  1. Sometimes, I absolutely hate writing. And that's okay. But one of the reasons that I'm even participating in this challenge is to treat writing more like a skill that can be crafted than the flick of some inspirational light switch.
  2. Sometimes, writing is the flick of an inspirational light switch. It's just that you're not the one with the finger that flips the switch. Don't ask me how or when or why it gets switched, either.  "Let's get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn't to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up." - Stephen King
  3. I think that Stephen King is a word-master whose character development is unparalleled. 
  4. Words are powerful. In the beginning, God spoke... Pretty insane to think that God's words are powerful enough to speak things into existence. You and I, as well, have the power of life and death on our tongues. 
  5. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is a lie, and someone should punch the person who first told it, and we should silence his or her proponents of that horrid propaganda. Haha.
  6. I love that people can create entire worlds with words. I am loving fiction more and more. I think I used to feel bad for reading fiction when "I could have been learning something" elsewhere - like in a biography, or a handbook on something, or the Bible. What a silly thing to say, as if you can't learn through entering into new worlds! I credit my friend Chris Kipp for giving me new insight on being alright with investing in fiction reading (which eventually gave way to fiction writing). 
  7. If things aren't written well, I usually hate them (for the most part). For example, the majority of crappy lyrics for nearly every radio hit that exists in this world. The exceptions are few but fun - like getting emails Craig without spelling or punctuation or even half of the words that make up a complete sentence. 
  8. I love rap that's done well because rap that's done well is an artistic mastering of language, and it blows my mind. 
  9. Even though I wrote Point No. 06, my mom - an English major - still takes every opportunity she has to let me know when I have misused the words "that" and "who", or misplaced "I" versus "me". (Trust me, I have misused them a lot.)
  10. I never graduated from college (in fact, I walked out during an English class and never went back), so I don't really know how much weight anyone should give to any of the things that I have to say about writing. 
  11. Most poetry is incredibly difficult for me to read so I usually don't read it. I can't tell you one of my favorite poets that will change your life forever. This makes Chris Bernstorf incredibly sad. He knows way more about poetry than I do. Ask him. 
  12. Words illicit a response. Anger. Fear. Understanding. Grief. Sympathy. Excitement. And they illicit different responses in different people, and it's fascinating to watch and receive the responses. 
  13. It's more fascinating (with less potential for pain and defensiveness, or an enormous puffy head) if you can watch the response objectively. 
  14. It is 11:56 PM and if I don't post this now, I owe Craig $100 bucks, so that's all, folks. 
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