Writer, Bare Thy Soul!

Switching gears, sucks! From a writing standpoint, that is.

Going from academic writing of “Just the facts, ma’am,” to creatively baring my soul felt like grinding into third on my husband’s Nissan truck. I never can seem to find that gear on the first try.

This article for the writers association newsletter I just put together was incredibly easy to write, it was done in less than 30 minutes, but there was something missing and I couldn’t figure out what. For one, it was far shorter than any other article I had previously submitted. Only 490 words, for me, that’s practically stunted! It was certainly an informative piece, but there was no zing, no reader’s head nodding, no guffaw. As I began editing I started to wonder where my sparkle had gone, where were the entertaining quips and ponderings, what happened to the automatic laugh track that roars in my head when I write? Why was the piece so short?

Because I was in an academic writing mode, having completed four writing pieces for college the day prior, I think my brain was too engaged. My soul needed to come through my fingertips but that great big cerebral wall blocked the flow from my heart. Perhaps my muse also had her head too far buried in some textbook to be of assistance. More likely she found my high brow, stuffy writing much too boring and opted instead for a day at the beach. That beach and I need to have some serious words, stealing my muse away from me when I need her most. The nerve!

But seriously, who could blame her?

As writers our gift is baring our souls in ways that move readers with our words, and cause ripples in the fabric of the space/time continuum. Okay so maybe that’s a bit lofty, but you get the idea. In the world of academia, writing is simply meant to impart knowledge, broaden the mind, expand the horizons of learning. (Does anyone else hear that pompous echo or is it just me?) The two worlds can never mix.

Or can they? Can I be informative and still get a giggle?

Purpose, I must keep the purpose for my writing in mind. Do I want to simply entertain the masses or do I want to inform the minds of my readers? In my newsletter article, I wanted to relay a life story and give information at the same time. And I did, but without so much as a modicum of emotion. No entertainment value there.

Impact, I need to consider what will result from my writing, or rather what I want my reader to take from it. Will they gain new knowledge, will they get my jokes and think them funny, or will my writing lay flat on the page (metaphorically speaking of course)?

Wit from the witless. That has been my modus operandi to date, at least on this blog. Why mess with a good thing, a proven track record, the flow, man, the flow? Ok, so maybe I wasn’t meant to be a hippie.

Solution, solution, who has the solution? I think practice is the key. Once again it all boils down to that “P” word, doesn’t it? Yes, I will practice. I need to practice. I will try to finally shift into that third gear. Oh who am I kidding? That truck hates me and the clutch always mocks me. Oh, wait, I was talking about writing. SQUIRREL!

Perhaps two academic writing pieces then one blog or other creative writing piece, should be my course of action until I’m able to switch gears without even batting an eye. Or, maybe I just shouldn’t put all my homework off until the end of the week and use the weekends for creative writing instead of playing catch up. Things to make me go, ‘hhhmmm’.

So, if you are new to my corner of the Internet, please know that I am not usually this dry and cracked. Well, I am cracked, but that’s a whole other story. Please bear with me when I’m sounding stuffy and it’s not from a head cold. It will get better; it can only get better. 🙂

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. snosler
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 17:07:08

    Oddly enough I just wrote about this – switching gears that is – it’s so much harder than people think – that is unless you are a writer and have to do it 🙂

    Reply

    • makergoddess
      Feb 18, 2013 @ 17:51:43

      You did! I mean, I went to your blog just now and saw that you did. Today in fact.

      How funny that two strangers’ minds so unconnected can write on the same topic at the same time.

      I really liked your post by the way!

      Keep writing, switching gears without grinding them, and finding those stinkin’ car keys. 🙂

      Reply

  2. dianesloftis
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 09:53:21

    I can relate to this feeling in a big time way! It is a challenge- to make that switch. I posted a blog titled – The Nature of Natural Creativity- in which I decided to use my academic book (Psychology) to my advantage! The chapter that I was reading actually triggered a creative idea- so… I jotted the idea down on paper and went with it! Here is the result (if you care to take a look): http://dianesloftis.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/the-nature-of-natural-creativity/ 🙂

    Reply

    • makergoddess
      Feb 22, 2013 @ 06:05:51

      I did have a look and you were so right. You also taught me a couple of new vocabulary words. 🙂

      The idea that creativity is skill rather than gift is very interesting. At the beginning of lessons that involve drawing in which I have to first model what the expected outcome is, I tell my students, “Mrs. Burr is not an artist but she does the best she can.”

      I started doing this as a way to get 7 and 8 years to not laugh at my stick figures. Then I realized it helped them when their drawings were not photograph perfect because they have done the best they could. But the really interesting thing is that over the years of drawing some of the same things over and over, I have noticed that my drawing skills have gotten better. All because I practiced.

      Practice, in any creative endeavor, makes all the difference! Ooh, wasn’t that a blog post of mine?

      Reply

  3. Naomi Baltuck
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 18:40:07

    Feel better!

    Reply

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