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Thursday, September 22, 2005

How many stories have you heard about the writer who has for years received nothing but rejection notices for his or her submissions? Perhaps you know someone like this, or this person may be a friend who just keeps going on writing in spite of what might seem to be obvious discouragement. They may seem oblivious to external feedback. It is the love of writing and creating which fuels their imagination; their passion and their work, apparently. The external judgement of the merits of their work does not dampen their enthusiasm for the process. The passion keeps them going.
After years in academia more than one or even a hundred academicians turn from scholarly research to writing fiction or autobiography. The imagination and experience as well as passion want to have their say, and more than left brain analysis becomes necessary for these writers after years of research papers,reports and conferences. They have perservered (perhaps "succeeded") in making their scholarly contribution; their seminal work. That accomplished, the rest of the story wants to be told.
A history professor and founder of the field of women's history, Gerda Lerner, capped off her writing career with "the rest of the story" of her life, including a more comprehensive description of her life. Many were surprised and enriched by this personal detailing beyond her scholarly writings. Loren Eiseley's poetic turn of the language had to express beyond the scholarly and accepted analytic.  and scientific vernacular.
Perserverance brought these writers; these scholars through their chosen fields of research and with some measure of completion they opened to the possibility of and need for writing in a different way and about more personally engaging insights and experiences. The "objective" became the "personal."
Perserverance may get the manuscript accepted.
It may also prepare the writer to move in an entirely different direction.
Keep writing.
11:43 am edt 

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Offbeat Writing
What new insights and understandings can you provide through your writing? Can you enlighten, encourage or provoke discussion or inquiry;perhaps change lives and social agendas? How do you present your ideas/thoughts/feelings--in what format and venue? Do you believe your writing can change reality? What do you hope and wish to accomplish with in your work? Do you dare even consider it?
Writing is a tool, like a shovel, a hammer, a spade. Writing works the ground of being and the given, constructed world. Call it what you will, writing encourages, invites and bothers through song and music as well as inquiry and mass media news or analysis. Writing can wake up or soothe--it can follow the beaten path or take a different turn and go off the beaten path--in fact it often can and does. Gonzo Journalism was Hunter Thompson's new take and approach as a reporter. Certainly a different way of writing and doing reporting--from within the "guts" of a situation.
How are you using this tool? What is the  purpose of your writing -- how are you approaching it? Writing moves readers one way or the other. How off or on beat can you be?  Consider the possibilities.
Keep writing.
10:39 am edt 

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