An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Writing for the writing-impaired

I've never really been "good" at writing. Being as I'm 3/4 Norwegian (the other 1/4 is a mix of Scot and English) and an engineer, my writing tends to be very dry, factual. It didn't help that I took technical writing in college. Sure, I took creative writing as well, but the technical stuff just came a lot more naturally to me. Humor? Go back to that second sentence and you'll see how I'm almost genetically humor impaired. Maybe I just try too hard.

One of the big things that's always had trouble with (and my daughter has seemed to inherit, bless her) is the whole "what shall I write about?" question. Obviously, I'd want to write about things to which I'm fairly acquainted. Or at least could fake it well enough to not embarrass myself (or not deep enough so as to attract the attention of those who really DO know). Okay, lest that last part not come across as I'd hoped, it was a joke. Back to the question... Writer's block and that question have stymied many a would-be writer. How to battle this? Just start writing. The intimidation of the blank page (or screen) is huge. Getting something on it, ANYTHING on it, makes it no longer blank, and thus less intimidating.

Now, mind you, the drivel that starts at the top of the page (or screen) may not be anything remotely related to the final product, it's just a start. A way to get the mental juices flowing, so to speak. I've started many a writing project with the top of the page saying, "I really have no idea what to write, I just need to get started with something, so here it goes." I've done a lot of "stream of consciousness" stuff just to see where it goes and what my thoughts tend toward.

I'm still not a "good" writer, but I'm a lot better than I was, and I'm getting more practice.

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