The Funny Thing about Writing
Frederick Franck, in Art as a Way, tells us “The point of practicing an art is less to discover who you are than to become your truth, to be able to shed all sham, imposture not an indulgence of the little self, but a manifestation of the Self.”
The funny thing about writing is nothing can be gained from immobility. We can neither grow spiritually or academically without an effort. Grateful, whimsical, and optimistic memories help us entertain our readers. Even if you’re upset, you can choose to create an attitude that will free you in some way. For instance, if you’re feeling guilty consider it unexpressed resentment.
Turning questions into positive statements define what is really bothering you. I might ask myself “Why can’t I find the right words?” I turn this question into “The right words will come when I am present enough to recognize them.” Personally, I like to percolate and research the subject I’m thinking of writing on.
I’m always excited to start a new adventure in writing. Often after I wake, I step lively on my way to my computer with my glasses on and my phone fully charged. Many writers are perfectionists, but even Joyce Carol Oates, tells us, “You may discover your best poems while writing your worst prose…as soon as you connect with your true subject, you will write.” Just have fun but be always disciplined, I believe. I don’t set goals as to how many words I need to type in a day. Some writers do this. However, I always try to edit before I stop typing for the day. Some writers say not to edit until all your work is done. We are all unique in how we approach our craft.
Writing can be like magic, helping you know who you really are, why you are here, and what you came to do. The more I write, the more I want to write. Yes, I admit to getting angry and blocked at times. I prefer to think of anger as an emotion that drives me into action. As we grow spiritually our words will have more power to affect your readers. When writing more serious topics, I try to also acknowledge the funnier side of life.
Firstly, amusing ourselves reduces the loneliness, rejection, and stress of an isolated day at the computer. Secondly, it also boosts our creativity by challenging us to approach our subject in livelier ways. I am not Erma Bombeck, so I know not to try to be a comedian. Writers want to be taken seriously and not confuse our intentions.
One way to add levity to your writing is keeping a lookout for specific letters that simply make us smile at the sounds. For instance, Leigh Ann Jasheway, comedian, and author tells us words with the K sound (cat, Cadillac, cactus, caterpillar, comedy) are perceived as funny sounding. The K rule is a good tool to use for naming things and making word choices that will subtly amuse your readers. Other words, with the hard G like (guacamole, gap, goat) gets laughs, too.
Shakespeare used a lot of humor although not given credit as a humorist. He gave us some funny words like gibberish. Look to the past for funny words like bumfuzzle. This means confused. The one word I think writers and readers might be afraid of is bibliophobia. It means afraid of running out of things to read. Check out Reader’s Digest Tutorials or the Fact Monster as I have above for examples of words and letters that visually amuse you.
When writing I always use the Synonym Tool in Word to give myself a better choice of colorful or unusual words. After I finish my writing, I do two things. Of course, only good writers use Grammarly. Then, I check out humorous and classical quotes on my subject and then try to insert a few into my article maybe disguised as metaphors. Metaphors and similes say volumes purely. It is okay to laugh at ourselves, but honesty grabs a reader quicker than mimicry.
Being funny comes naturally to some of us, others must work at being informational as well as entertaining.
Good health is more than just exercise and diet, it is how you spend your spare time. Each moment we throw our whole selves into our crafts, it brings us more wellness and trust in ourselves as a writer. Also, don’t be afraid to try writing in other genres. An old dog can learn new tricks. Our age makes no difference when it comes to innate talent. I didn’t start writing until I was in my forties. What I have learned is writing writes itself and editing takes discipline. We can always edit a page poorly written, but we can’t edit a blank page. Editing is like committing your own hands to – choice above chance.
Try to – Cut the fat and revise to the bone. It may hurt but we must keep ourselves from overwriting. Readers can get lost in unnecessary details and back stories. Give yourself the needed time to develop your own style, and let your truth come in spurts. Remember, the funny thing about writing is that, “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” says Henry David Thoreau.