Just Write

I have a writer friend that seems to be always taking yet another writing class. Mostly online. He’s very talented, but can’t seem to turnout a finished manuscript of any type. If only he can take one more class, he’d be ready to write. Or so he says.

IMO, the best method to learn how to write is, the drum roll please, just write. Nothing profound, just write. If you the writer have a good basic knowledge of the English language and are an avid reader, it’s no big deal. I admit, I am not an English major. I know a subject and a verb. And an adjective and adverb. Beyond that, it’s all Greek to me. I never got much farther in English than high school. Today, if I had to diagram a sentence, I’m lost. In fact, I believe knowing how to diagram a sentence is probably a detriment. The most important ingredient is to be an avid reader. The most important ingredient. I know how words should be on a page.

IMO, you’re ducks will never be all in a roll. At some point, if you really want to be a writer, sit down at the keyboard and just write. If writing is what you really want to do, you will learn. With practice, it will come. After all, isn’t that what a prof does in a classroom? Make you write? Nothing more than what you can do on your own. Try just writing. You don’t need to spend big bucks on online courses or taking classes at the local community college.

Another IMO. Self discipline is what turns out finished manuscripts. Who am I to talk? Self discipline isn’t my strong suit. I’m a huge procrastinator. I can think of all kinds of reasons to not write. The firewood needs put in. I need to finish installing the trim in the hallway. Oil needs changed in the pickup. It goes on. Point being, just write. Discipline yourself to put fingers to the keyboard and write. Or if you prefer and are old school, pick up pen and notebook, and write. You will get it.

The one writing aid that helped me more than any class was a little book titled The Elements Of Style by Strunk and White. This little book in its present form goes back to 1959. It is invaluable. You can pick up a copy on ebay for almost nothing. For the purpose of this post I found several in the three dollar range. That’s with free shipping. I even found it on Amazon as a Kindle download for 0.99 cents. It doesn’t get much better.

I must add before I end this post. If you want to sell what you write, then a class on marketing, or reading a book on the same, can be useful. You’ll spend more time marketing and selling than the actual writing. But that is the subject of a future post.

To reiterate. You want to learn to write. First, I hope you are an avid reader. Then, if you are so inclined, read the Elements Of Style. Then, just write.

Dennis Pence