Sunday, 12 July 2020

The Gospel of Writing According to Marilyn: Chapters 1 - 2

This is the first of a series of articles describing the writing process from the viewpoint of a published author and publisher. This series will help writers see what the writing world is all about.

​Chapter 1: Expect to Write, and Write, and Write Some More...

The first advice I give my authors is the most simple, and quite often the most difficult. And that is, to expect to write. And I mean write. You can't just talk or read about it. The more you write, the freer you become. Nothing I say here or in my coaching, classes, and writing programs works unless you write. And write. And write.

Believe it or not, I have clients who come to me expecting to write perfectly within days of our starting to work together. I've been writing for over 25 years and just in the past few years have I even considered calling myself a master at the craft. Expect to write a lot. And to rewrite, then write some more. I call it diving for pearls. Some days you will write 10 pages and come up with one pearl worth keeping. Other days you'll write two pages and every word is perfect.

Look closely at the layers of paint that make up some of the great works of master painters. Those layers cover up creative attempts that didn't work. And this is sometimes after years of study and effort. Nobody becomes a master without traveling the path of learning and trial and error. To become a truly great writer, you will need to write!

Chapter 2: You Will Understand Yourself Better and Faster Through the Writing Process

In my coaching, I share everything I know about writing, and living, too. I believe your writing and what you are living right now are entwined. It's not scientific, it's only my theory, but there seems to be a chemical response that helps you know yourself better through the written word.

A few years ago, I found several journals that I had lost track of and decided to read through some of them. I thought it would be a good way to see where I was and how far I had traveled in the previous five years. I was amazed by how much I knew at the time I wrote in the journals that I thought I had only recently incorporated into my life. That was when I realized I had been integrating it all along, but the actual understanding wasn't complete until later. The writing actually helped me move through the possibilities and unearth bits of knowledge from my unconscious, higher conscious, and the collective conscious. How else would I have known some of the things I was writing? I now make it a point to reread my journals every few months. Every time I do, I see new and revealing perspectives on topics I've written about.

Here's my first assignment: Go to a journal you wrote more than a year ago. Read it in its entirety, then write about what you discover. Explore what you knew then that you really have only recently integrated into your life.

(c) Marilyn Schwader​

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