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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Communication is what makes us human: More tips for thinking, writing and speaking in a world of quicksand communications

61. Say what?

“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die,” wrote Anne Lamott, one of my favorite muses. A quote from someone in your family, a favorite song or poem, or someone in a place of authority can bring voice, music and credibility to your written work. A quote can help you get the ball rolling on a topic, or it can bring to the front a question you have uncovered.
62. Draught, Drawft, Draft
Thank the critic for its fine intentions but clear the critic out of your mind before you write your first word. Send them to the corner store for an errand. Work your first draft without them as you begin the writing process unencumbered by any critical thoughts, fear of grammar rules or rules of any kind. Get the first draft out. Come back to it with an eye towards finding ways to add, delete and improve.
63. Listen!
We are much more experienced as listeners than we are as writers. When you have a draft of a piece you are preparing listen to it as you read it aloud. Ask someone to read it aloud to you or record it and play it back. Listen to the way it strikes not your eyes, but your ears. Pay attention to the rhythm of your sentences and the music of your words. Would another quote or question help with the overall impact of a sentence?
64. Do you have a favorite writer?
Reading opened up the world for many of us, even those who grew up in the 1960’s when we had other choices in mass media like TV. We had three (count them!) TV networks programs to choose from. I am enamored of some writers, certainly, and took my love for one writer to a new level. I adapted a favorite short story set in Minnesota recently to characters and locations in Texas. I copied the tone and style, but used our regional geography and expressions. Interesting exercise I recommend.
65. Build a community of those whose opinions you value to share your work with.
Getting help is amazing! I’ve received valuable feedback from friends who have read my young adult novel, Tina Tijerina. I’m grateful for their suggestions and assistance in pulling together the important pieces that make up the story.

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