Writing Tip No.3

Writing Tip No. 3: Visualize

by Dawn Garcia

 

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”

— Virginia Woolf

 

WRITING TIP No.3: Put your pens down. Back those eager fingers away from the keyboard. VISUALIZE. Sure, visualizing seems more of a modality than an actual writing tip but let’s think about that for a moment. A writer (not researcher) works solely using memory and imagination, the ability to take words and string them together like a symphony. Imagine a musician. A musician must see the music … not literally on the page but as if the notes are dancing through the air. Much like that of a musician, a writer is essentially doing the same thing. A writer has to take even the most mundane feelings and emotions and assign them to a well constructed sentence, a confined character, a reminiscent moment in time. We must think and feel and be keenly aware of our surroundings – and – how those surroundings affect us.

 

There is a quote by Anais Nin that says:

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”

 

It’s true. Being  writer requires a healthy amount of courage. We spill the contents of our souls because were we to contain it, it would eat us up from the inside out like a flesh eating bacteria. The words MUST come out. However, what I have found is that so many writers are careless with that release. They cannot see the river within that is is so eager to get out and so rather than release it cautiously, they simply let it spill a dribble at a time and the words no longer dance but rather stumble over one another in an effort to be freed. We must break down the walls. We have to see the words on the page, the story they hold, the power within their meaning.

 

Let’s talk about critics. Your responsibility with words is even greater. I have read countless reviews that have godawful grammar, hateful language, malicious criticism – Criticism that is no longer critique but rather insight into that particular writer’s level of innate unhappiness within themselves. Much like words, writers reveal themselves through what they write. Your hesitance is transparent. Your carelessness, visible. You inability to express yourself gracefully – all too clear. So … PA– USE.

If you cannot VISUALIZE the words, the scene, the experience, begin another writing exercise until you do. That exercise I am going to call: PA– USE and PRACTICE. All of the details are below. So here is what I will finish with.

 

Writing is powerful but you must open your mind enough to keep from stifling the essence of what has to come out. If you have a story to tell, do so with grace and eloquence, even if it’s dark and twisted. If you are a critic, KNOW why you critique and don’t simply be negative. Give precise examples of HOW the meal or art of experience could have been improved upon. It does no one any good to read negativity for the sake of negativity.

Above all else, please learn the correct grammar and sentence structure. There is nothing more insulting to the words you string together than messily throwing them onto a page without a single concern for their importance.

 

typewriter_closeup

PA– USE and PRACTICE

This is your assignment when you cannot allow yourself the freedom to visualize.

1. Have a computer AND a journal or pad of paper at the ready.

2. Go to your computer.

3. Pull up Google and type in: “The meaning of writing” (I am adding the actual definition below.)

4. That term has weight. Purpose. Read every single definition.

NOW – WRITE down 3 sentences:

“I am a writer. I am a conductor of words. I am worthy of the words that pour out of me.”

5. Now go to the pad of paper.

6. Hand write those exact 3 sentences.

7. Read the definitions below.

8. Embrace your inner writer.

9. Conduct your symphony of words.

10. STOP getting in your own way.

11. REBEL. Be your own resistance and write your way. And do it with precision.

12. RESPECT the words on the page.


write  (rt)

v. wrote (rt), writ·ten (rtn) also writ (rt), writ·ing, writes

v.tr.

1.

a. To form (letters, words, or symbols) on a surface such as paper with an instrument such as a pen.
b. To spell: How do you write your name?
2. To form (letters or words) in cursive style.
3. To compose and set down, especially in literary or musical form: write a poem; write a prelude.
4. To draw up in legal form; draft: write a will.
5. To fill in or cover with writing: write a check; wrote five pages in an hour.
6. To express in writing; set down: write one’s thoughts.
7. To communicate by correspondence: wrote that she was planning to visit.
8. To underwrite, as an insurance policy.
9. To indicate; mark: “Utter dejection was written on every face” (Winston S. Churchill).
10. To ordain or prophesy: It was written that the empire would fall.
11. Computer Science To transfer or copy (information) from memory to a storage device or output device.

v.intr.

1. To trace or form letters, words, or symbols on paper or another surface.
2. To produce written material, such as articles or books.
3. To compose a letter; communicate by mail.

Phrasal Verbs:

write down

1. To set down in writing.
2. To reduce in rank, value, or price.
3. To disparage in writing.
4. To write in a conspicuously simple or condescending style: felt he had to write down to his students.

write in

1. To cast a vote by inserting (a name not listed on a ballot).
2. To insert in a text or document: wrote in an apology at the end of the note.
3. To communicate with an organization by mail: write in with a completed entry form.

write off

1. To reduce to zero the book value of (an asset that has become worthless).
2. To cancel from accounts as a loss.
3. To consider as a loss or failure: wrote off the rainy first day of the vacation.

write out

1. To express or compose in writing: write out a request.
2. To write in full or expanded form: All abbreviations are to be written out.

write up

1. To write a report or description of, as for publication.
2. To bring (a journal, for example) up to date.
3. To overstate the value of (assets).
4. To report (someone) in writing, as for breaking the law. wrote him up for speeding.

Idioms:

write (one’s) own ticket

To set one’s own terms or course of action entirely according to one’s own needs or wishes: an open-ended and generous scholarship that lets recipients write their own ticket.

writ large

Signified, expressed, or embodied in a greater or more prominent magnitude or degree: “The man was no more than the boy writ large” (George Eliot).

 

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