chainsaw_headerJust a Thought: When it comes to things elemental, the general consensus is that water always trumps fire. This may be true for Pokémon and Battle Beasts (80’s flashback) but debatable from varying perspectives with condition and situation pending. Consider throwing a match into the ocean, compared to spitting on a forest fire. It’s all about volume and circumstance in which the given scenario defines the final outcome. The question is how big is your match or how much can you spit? This concludes today’s metaphor which has nothing to do with this week’s article… it’s just a thought.

What follows may be inspiring to aspiring writers and likewise aspiring to inspired writers. Perhaps found intriguingly relatable to fellow columnists, and eye rolling to potential novelists. As for you, my dear regular, and irregular, (see a doctor if it continues) readers alike, it may serve as insight to the creative process. Or just something to read pre-paperwork in the bathroom — regularity assistance, and you are welcome.

By definition (via Wikipedia) a writer is a person who uses written words, in different writing styles and techniques, to communicate ideas. So in composing your weekly grocery shopping list you are a “writer” by definition default? Well… not exactly. So what makes a writer?

The same inquiry can be made of those who partake in creating visual arts. Make no mistake, writing is an art form. If you don’t believe it, then try composing the thousand words worthy of making a picture. So in that respect, when does writing go from random doodling to a gallery?

Much like any other art the distinctive title of “writer” is an arguably grey area. There is no debate if you write for a living or have profited from one of your works. Achieving publication or having your work printed in a published, public work is another potential way to claim the title. However, on the ground floor, most would agree that you’re not a writer until someone reads something you have written. And they can’t do that till you write it down.

But what do you write down? Well the answer is quite simply ­— everything! Any thought, idea, or concept; including person, place or thing description, that pops into your head or comes to mind. Type, write or jot it down. Do not make a mental note and try to create solely in your mind — get it into a format that you can physically see outside your head.

You see, on rare occasions, inspiration strikes and a story or idea materializes in its entirety. In others, they have to be nurtured and grown from a singular sentence. Or be built line by line as they come to mind. In putting it into written word you can stockpile ideas for future reference or perhaps use them as filler if the idea isn’t big enough to justify a full write-up (see a thought above). If nothing else, you can at least get them out of your head. It’s like saying something out loud and realizing it’s either a brilliant stroke of genius or just plain dumb. In addition, it may bring realization that you don’t have enough input or interest to continue.

But what can I write that someone would want to read? This paradox of writing, the readability right, has plagued many an author. How many great stories and ideas have been lost for sake and fear of the audience’s reaction? So for starters, do not consider your potential readers (apologies to those currently reading this). Write for yourself, on the subject of your choosing or whatever you feel at the moment. Find your inspiration, seek out your muse and go with the flow.

Realistically not everyone is cut out to be a writer. In truth many lack the dedication and time it takes, or struggle with putting their ideas and concepts into words. Even if you can write, you may not have the skills to write what you’d like. It’s like a country girl trying to rap at the karaoke bar… or a want-to-be horror novelist writing a creative newspaper column for 20+ years. You don’t settle, you just accept, enjoy and hope that maybe some aspiring writer found inspiration by the time you reach the bottom of the page.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya.