Crowing along the way with wisdom and practical advice
All of these entries were originally posted in my Newsfeed.
Feel free to read and review any and all of them!
|WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
One of the most basic pieces of advice given to writers of every skill level is to write about what they know. It seems like simple advice. However, we also have those who will encourage us to explore new genres as avenues for expression. Some writers will follow such prompting, filling their portfolios with an eclectic mix of poems, stories, and such submissions as would give them a well-rounded appearance.
I am an amateur historian, and as such I will always gravitate toward the historical point of view or investigation. My port is quite eclectic, but there are times when I wonder whether I should be giving the lion's share of my time to what I really love: history. As history is exceedingly boring to most people, I probably won't get much attention. In any case, I will be happy. I had better start working on my catchiest titles.
Originally posted here: "Note: WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW One of t..."
I YAM WHAT I YAM
I wonder if any of you know who often used that phrase. I'll let you ponder on that for a while. In the meantime, I going to talk a little about contests. If you ever wanted to enter a contest, take your chances on a raffle, or just pit your skills in friendly competition, Writing.com is the place to be. It seems that not a day goes by when I do not notice a contest of some sort or other. I guess we can thank the many talented and brainstorming people who keep this beehive of activity going.
However, there are writers who never take part in contest and competitions. And, yes, I must admit that I am one of that number. There was a time when I thought to jump into the maelstrom. I then thought better of it and decided to sail in waters more serine. You see, I am a very retiring personality. I have no desire for the glitz and glamor of attention. I have even less desire toward the acquisition of awards and honors. I am satisfied just to write. And, in the course of that exercise, if any reader is moved to ruminate upon my words, that is honor enough. That, and that alone is my cup of tea.
So, party on my friends. I'll just sit back and watch from a safe distance and write a few lines from time to time. Afer all, I yam what I yam.
Originally posted here: "Note: I YAM WHAT I YAM I wonder i..."
|ONE FOR ONE
There may be a generally understood rule within the community of Writing.com which implies that one good turn deserves another. Specifically, it may be assumed that if you take the time to review a fellow writer's work, they will courteously reciprocate with a review of something you have written. In fact, many writers do that very thing. They will most often return the favor.
However, not all neighbors in our community have determined to adhere to that code. If you review one of their works you will wait in vain if you expect them to respond in kind. Of course, this is no great sin on their part, and you should never fret over the fact that they have remained silent, except for a cursory "thank you." You may believe that receiving a review from them is simply a common courtesy, and it may be, but don't let it get under your skin when someone isn't courteous.
I have posted before on this newsfeed that I no longer worried when the reviews were few and far between. I believe that I get even more satisfaction sharing certain words of advice and wisdom on The Community Newsfeed.
So, don't worry about those who don't return your favors. They may have good reasons for not doing so. Just keep on reviewing those same people and others. Soon, your handle will be so well known you won't have time to read all the reviews.
Originally posted here: "Note: ONE FOR ONE There may be a ..."
THE PATHOLOGY OF VICTIMHOOD
It seems that so many people are victims these days. It is not that they really are, but that they have determined themselves to be such. Even the community of Writing.com has its share of those who will palm the victim card for whenever they require a winning hand, or maybe a little sympathy. I recently reviewed an individual and attempted to give them some advice on what to avoid in future works. I also touched on a little life-philosophy. Good Lord in heaven, you would have thought that I slapped their mother. I received a tirade of invectives as to the fact that I took no thought of how hard their life had been and that I should have been much kinder because of how rough their path has been. I'm sorry, but when did a difficult life become a free pass? It's the, I can do or say anything I like because I've been dealt a crappy life. Hmmm.
We all realize that many people have suffered and do suffer from difficulties of every stripe. Whether it be mental or physical, they suffer just the same. Nevertheless, they deal with each day as it comes with courage and fortitude. Nonetheless, they are able to express themselves through their talent and attempt to learn from what advice they receive, even if that advice seems harsh at times.
Finally, let me add a personal note. I grew up without the presence of a father in the home. However, I don't remind my viewers that they ought to be kind to me because I was a poor fatherless child. Helen Keller was born deaf, mute, and blind. She became famous for her many outstanding achievements in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds. The Writing.com community has people who suffer from various maladies. In spite of their difficulties, they use their God-given talents to bless us all with wonderful and inspiring things. They don't start crying about how tough life has been the first time someone corrects their grammar.
Trending in our society right now is victimhood. It's not a club you want to join.
Originally posted here: "Note: THE PATHOLOGY OF VICTIMHOOD ..."
PLEASE LEARN TO WRITE
Recently, I was strolling through the halls of Writing.com when I happened on a piece of work written by a newcomer to our community. The main thought of the piece seemed interesting so I thought I would give it a read. To my dismay, the writing - if I can call it that - proved almost unreadable. There were URs for You are, i for I, and u for you. Actually, I have only scratched the surface of the grammatical nightmare I experienced.
I have little doubt that some will take exception to my critical opinion. They will remind me that our community is where young writers come to learn without fear of being ridiculed. Some are very young and immature and have a long way to go, and must be given as much slack as we can give. Yes, yes, I get all of that, although I question the wisdom of such thinking. If they turned in such a paper to their professor his eyes would bleed red ink.
I'm sorry, but there is no reason for readers to have to decipher the texting shorthand that many use today. This is not a texting site. This is a writing site. Call me old fashion if you will, but any writer who hopes to be called a writer will always use full words, and not some ridiculous teenage code.
Please, someone, help me here. Shouldn't we be encouraging people to write well and not encourage their bad habits by ignoring them? The piece that I couldn't finish reading received two five star reviews. I'm still trying to figure out what those five stars were for.
I am as understanding as the next guy or gal, but the least I would expect is that the chicken is cooked before it is brought to the table.
Originally posted here: "Note: PLEASE LEARN TO WRITE Recent..."
FINDING YOUR VOICES
There are many most informative newsletters to be found on Writing.com. They offer both the newbie and veteran writer bits and perspectives that can be of great value. Every now and then there is a piece on the writer finding his voice. You might think that most writers would already have a firm grasp on such a concept, but it never hurts to rethink the subject from time to time.
I would imagine that most writers feel secure in the belief that they have already found their voice. That being the case, they feel no need to go searching for another.
But I wonder how many writers have ever felt the need to break free of the mold in which they have become most comfortable. Is there a story of fiction in one who finds refuge in the safety of facts and figures? And what of humor; why should that attribute be quelled? Is there an imp of satiric sarcasm wryly smiling, waiting for his chance to be set free? I ask you, can a writer have only one voice?
To be sure, there is great comfort and safety in residing in a well hollowed out comfort zone. Such is surely a womb of warmth for any writer. But what would happen if we had the courage to pull through the membrane that cocoons us? Would we find that we had more than one voice, a veritable symphony of expression? The many instruments of an orchestra work in perfect harmony to create most sublime strains of music. Could the writer not do the same with his words? A fascinating German singer practices 'Polyphonic Singing' It is truly amazing to hear her sing two distinct notes at the same time. She has accomplished this amazing skill after years of practice.
So, could we not accomplish Polyphonic Writing? I believe we can and without those years of practice. Haven't you ever wanted to break out? Can't you feel the energy inside of you waiting to be set free? We should all give it a try.
Originally posted here: "Note: FINDING YOUR VOICES There a..."
|ARE YOU SATISFIED?
Most writers believe that they should never be satisfied, but should always strive for greater heights. I am somewhat ambivalent concerning the matter.
It will soon be three years since I became a part of the Writing.com community. Compared to some, that isn't very long at all. For me, however, a lot has happened in that time. I've been nominated twice for a quill. That was really nice. I have made some wonderful friends, and their support and advice have been priceless. I have received many very special reviews which I admire to this very day.
But, as time has passed, I have begun to slow down. I don't panic if I haven't posted a new article or a submission of prose. Also, I have become content to receive a review from time to time, and I always greatly appreciate those who expended their time in doing so. I guess you could say that I am satisfied. I may no longer reach for the brass ring, but just riding the writing carousel is a lot of fun. At my age, writing is no longer a competition. I just love to write, and if someone reads what I have written, that's the cherry on top. Time will always prove the worth of all things.
Yes, I'm satisfied right where I am, and it's a good place to be.
Originally posted here: "Note: ARE YOU SATISFIED? Most writ..."
|I recently posted a note on our Community Newsfeed entitled 'STORIES WITHIN THE NOTES'. In that piece, I spoke of 'Cold Writing' as one method of keeping the mental juices flowing when there was no particular project in mind. As I sit and type the draft of this note on one of my Olympia Typewriters, I have no project in the works at the moment, and really nothing on the cold side. But that doesn't bother me. Why? Because I know that the writing will come when the time is right. I have learned to never press the issue. So, if you feel that you are plagued with the dreaded 'Writer's Block', don't believe it. Just keep your mind stimulated with interesting reading. Then, when the time is right and the planets are in alignment, your words will flow.
First shared here: "Note: I recently posted a note on o..."
|A WRITER'S HAVEN
It has been a little over two years since I joined the community of Writing.com. Even within that short span, I have been privileged to meet and converse with many excellent writers. I could name names, but that wouldn't be fair. I'll let you decide whether you made my top twenty list.
I am a sixty-six-year-old writer and have been writing since I was very young. I have learned a lot and have a great deal of common sense wisdom to share, but I still enjoy learning and I have learned much from the many talented artists on this site. I have made friends and even some fans along the way. I plan on sticking around for a while if God wills. Why would I go anywhere else? Hands down, this is the best place a serious writer could be.
First shared here: "Note: A WRITER'S HAVEN I..."