The Secret of Writing – Put Black on White

I had a great creative writing professor in college who told me the secret of writing: “put black on white.” Meaning, just write, just put pen to paper (hence, ‘black on white’)–just get those ideas out there on paper (or on computer, etc.). There’s always time to fine-tune later on. I have been writing since I could hold a pencil, and have written stories, poems, commentary, etc. In my professional life, I was a technical writer for over 30 years; not as much fun as creative writing, but good just the same.

Even though I’m not a fan of social media, I have to say that the genesis of blogging is one of the best things to come out of technology. You can have your own platform (I highly recommend WordPress), and you can write as much or as little as you want. You can pick your subjects, write about anything you want, and, best of all: since it’s your blog, you can set your own rules and boundaries.

I started this blog in September of 2013, and I decided to keep my writing as positive as possible and as truthful as possible. I reference my sources (hey, give credit where credit is due), and my constant proviso is that the opinions expressed in my blog are just that: MY opinions. I do not slander people, but I may get a little cranky about issues that strike me to the heart, such as those who carelessly abandon animals or people. Don’t get me started.

My usual process for the daily blog is this: I write the blog the night before, edit it and so on, then leave it. The next morning I review it again (usually reading it out loud; I catch more mistakes that way). When I get that little ‘ding’ in my head (picture one of those turkeys were the meat thermometer suddenly pops up to tell you it’s done) that tells me I’ve got it right, I publish it.

I write about things that interest me, and I also share experiences I have gone through or am going through, such as the recent death of my mother. When I was diagnosed this past summer with DCIS (ductal cancer in situ; the kind that is not invasive but nevertheless needs to be biopsied and evaluated), I shared that experience as well. My reasoning for this is that there are many out there in the blogosphere who have gone through these same experiences or who are currently going through them. I feel that, the more we share our triumphs and tragedies with others, the more help and comfort we give and receive.

So if you want to write, then don’t wait–WRITE. Writing is like anything else; it requires practice. Don’t expect that you will turn the Great American Novel in a day, but write day by day and you just might. Good luck and good writing!


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