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Paper meet brain; brain meet paper

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Posts: 913
Managing Ambassador
Topic starter
(@michellelarsen1)
Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Joined: 5 years ago

Early in my career I took a Technical Writing course. And one thing I learned is that there seems to be two camps when it comes to the logistics of writing. One is the group that thinks and thinks, rolls stuff around in their head for who knows how long, and then one day it pours out in a flood, and there better be paper and pen around to grab all that pours out. The other group are the ones that think, and jot down ideas, and then rinse & repeat.

So, which are you? Or maybe you are part of the middle of the road group and do a bit of each? Either way, remember that all the stuff we know as humans we have mainly learned because someone, somewhere, at some time, faced a similar dilemma about not being able to write, then threw caution to the wind and did a Nike: Just Do It!

So, if you find yourself in that 'between a rock and a hard place dilemma' just reach out and ask the question, 'I want to write something, I just don't know how, or where, to begin'. And then hold on to your hat, because someone will come running to help you out. Hugs

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(@ellilynn)
Joined: 11 months ago

Trusted Member     United States of America, Indiana, Bloomington
Posts: 87

@michellelarsen1 My biggest issue when I try to write is my brain moves so much faster than I can write, type or dictate that thoughts and ideas can disappear before I get to the point of being able to save them.ย  It can take me hours got get a single decent paragraph on paper, and I rarely can remember all the fleeting ideas or points I wanted to make.

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Managing Ambassador
(@michellelarsen1)
Joined: 5 years ago

Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Posts: 913

@ellilynn I've had that as well. My approach is to just jot down some meaningful phrases that I know will act as a good reminder. And then build on each of those topic phrases. Before you know it, you have it all down. Hugs

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(@ellilynn)
Joined: 11 months ago

Trusted Member     United States of America, Indiana, Bloomington
Posts: 87

@michellelarsen1 Thank you for the suggestion, Michelle, but I write notes to myself constantly, and have multiple portable devices as well as software on every computing device I own that I can make verbal notes on.ย  I'm slowly getting better at it the more I do, and I think one of the things that helped me the most was several years of therapy that allowed me to open up to myself, which made it much easier to be open with others.ย  It's something that will probably be a frustration for the rest of my life, but I accept what is these days better than I used to be able to do.ย  It only took me about 10 minutes to write this, and a decade ago would have taken me anywhere from an hour to a day.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

ย 

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Managing Ambassador
(@michellelarsen1)
Joined: 5 years ago

Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Posts: 913

@ellilynn Oh, I sure do get that. If I had a dime for every time I wrote, and re-wrote something, I would be a very rich woman. But I figure, like life, writing is also a journey; and that journet can be just as rewarding as the destination. Hugs

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(@ellilynn)
Joined: 11 months ago

Trusted Member     United States of America, Indiana, Bloomington
Posts: 87

@michellelarsen1 After life giving me a good smack and saying "guess again" more times than I'd care to add up, I've come to the conclusion I have no idea what my destination is, so I try to enjoy the journey as much as I can these days.

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Posts: 33
(@Anonymous 25807)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Middle of the road I think. I too early in my career did a Technical Writing course, indeed Iย  was employed as a Technical Writer in an aeronautical company. I wasn't a Technical Writer, more a Junior Clerk, typist and Secretary.

But I made an effort to get qualified. I did a correspondence course, remember those? It led to British City and Guilds examination. I actually flew toย  London to take the exam. Onlyย  fromย  Ireland butย  still a big deal. I gotย  a distinction. I was very pleased but it amounted to nothing.ย 

I ended up basically as a Secretary for an Engineer.

I think the difference between a Technical Writer an a creative writer is that your facts must be right when it's technical so lessย  spontaneous which isn't to say creative writing ignores facts. My sister who's an excellentย  writer often consults me on subjects of which I haveย  experience. So she reaches out to me and others.

She's written many interesting things and while there's aย  spontaneity she is a fact checker.ย 

I never became a Technical Writer officially. I once applied for aย  course in a university butย  was rejected because I neverย  went to college. Apparently thirty years in industry counts for nothing.ย 

Intellectual snobbery.

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Posts: 913
Managing Ambassador
Topic starter
(@michellelarsen1)
Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Joined: 5 years ago

Marie, even in creative writing you better have your T's crossed, I's dotted, and facts right. I mean, who would finish a book about a romantic relationship, set during medieval times, where the characters wear flip-flops, ride electric bikes, and speak Klingon? So, you gotta get yer facts right there as well.

I suspect, you could write a nice story about life in Ireland. I did spend a touristy week in London a couple decades ago, but I will never see the emerald isles.... Except through someone else's eyes and their pen, weaving a wonderful tale that will leave a reader with a smile and a joyful heart....

ย 

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(@ellilynn)
Joined: 11 months ago

Trusted Member     United States of America, Indiana, Bloomington
Posts: 87

@michellelarsen1 Being a lover of fantasy and alternate universes, I would probably read that book.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posts: 243
Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Reputable Member     United States of America, Iowa
Joined: 6 years ago

I can be a technical writer, researching and gathering my facts before placing them in a relatable order. I admit, that I fly by the seat of my pants, especially as a creative writer. I have a beginning, the thought of a middle, and a projected ending. If forced to lay out a strategic order, it will fail in my creative endeavors. Similarly, the infusion of my flight can lead to my technical aspirations lacking or enhancing an outcome that isnโ€™t known until the send button is hit.

It took me 30 years to complete my first novel (using age ten as the moment I decided that I wanted to be an author.) It wasnโ€™t that I had bad ideas or writerโ€™s block, poor layout, planning, lack of time, etc., it was simply the fear of finishing. Once done, what do I do with it, how will it be perceived, and am I a โ€œOne and doneโ€ writer? I challenged all those notions and finished the first novel. Since then, I have learned I have more ideas than I have time to write them (procrastination is big with me). Starting a novel and finishing it seems easy. The starting is the hardest part now.ย 

To the original thought. My creativity has grown as my technical abilities have enhanced my structure and process. Writing short papers on vast topics helps to blend the contrasting styles. I think, think, and think some more. It pours out and I repeat until the book or the paper is done. For a paper, blog, essay, or report, it all gets on the page and then I do the editing. Nothing derails my train faster than trying to write the perfect paragraph. I shut off the editor programs and write my thoughts; plenty of time to fix it afterwards, and in some cases, scrap it and start over. The most important part, regardless of how one prepares, is to finish the thought in an acceptable manner. The strength of the work comes in the reworking to make it shine.

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(@ellilynn)
Joined: 11 months ago

Trusted Member     United States of America, Indiana, Bloomington
Posts: 87

@bmactavish To an extent, it sounds like you write like Vangelis and Jane Child compose music.ย  They sit down at a keyboard, turn on the recorder, play, and what gets recorded is the finished product, one track at a time.ย  Given the complexity of their music, it boggles my mind that every track laid down was a single take.ย  No do overs, no rewrites, just amazing product.

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Posts: 33
(@Anonymous 25807)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago

That'sย  true Michelle but I lack theย  talent to be aย  good technical or creative writer. Iย  know that now because my talented sister bought me a writingย  course.

I failedย  miserably.ย 

Anotherย  bubbleย  burst. Sigh!

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Posts: 592
(@terria67)
Honorable Member     United States of America, California
Joined: 6 years ago

Hi Michelle and others,

What a great thread to share with all of us.

Thank you all,

I am Inspired!

Terri Anne

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