Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 11/07/14

CRITICAL THINKING—IV

“Knowledge is the advancing retrieval of clarity from uncertainty and confusion.” I may not have quoted that exactly (nor do I remember where I heard or read it), however, I love the concept of “advancing retrieval.”  Tis’ a bit of a paradox, which intrigues me and requires me to tap into my objectivity abilities to separate what is from what I imagine or believe.

One of my best childhood and young-adult friends (who is not a writer) was a master at stating his opinion in absolute terms. That was a trap I fell into way too many times, especially when restating his “fact” in term papers.  I could have gone the way of several of our other friends who discounted everything he ever said.  However, in some rather miraculous way, I came to appreciate his often unfathomable views and utilize them as a point of comparison with what I was discovering to be reality.  So it is that I offer you my final (for now anyway) points to consider on the topic of Critical Thinking.  Together with the previous three blogs, I hope these concepts will help you produce superb writings and reader-recognition.

    • Withhold Judgment. If a piece of information “tweaks” your ear and you immediately want to deny it—or accept and promote it—DIG DEEPER. Do the research. Go the extra investigative mile and put the puzzle pieces together. When the “fit” is natural, you’ll have your answer.
    • De-pressurize the Pressure. If editors are pushing you to complete a book or article and the words “just get it done” fall into your ear, STOP! The immediate temptation to follow that direction could produce a written work you will not be happy with and—as we know well—it remains “in print” forever—everywhere. It’s okay to remind the editor that their reputation is in play, too. If they don’t care, you may not want to work with/for them again.
    • Check and Re-Check the Facts. The journalistic rule of “two-or-more” sources is a good place to start. However, depending on your topic and the motive behind writing about it, building a chain of “evidence” that is good, better and best leads to a well-built and believable piece of writing.
    • Don’t Fear Questions. If uncertainty remains in your mind, it’s okay to include those in your writing. Readers appreciate being included in the discovery process and will buy your next book on that topic to “see” what you’ve learned that they missed.
    • Avoid Rationalization. I’ve listened to some “creative writing” instructors who insist that decisive writing is a technique that must be mastered and used in all written work. In the marketing arena everything is stated as “fact” and rationalization is a trap door used against the reader. Writers who employ this technique often fall into the consequences of poor decision-making themselves.
  • Appreciate Your Own Intuition. Hunches are those intriguing and sometimes logically-illogic threads that lead to great discoveries. Never hesitate to listen to them and follow their paths until you’re satisfied with what you find.

All of these elements of Critical Thinking serve the writer in “advancing the retrieval” of pieces to the puzzle of their writing projects—big or small.  Join the adventure! Retrieve that remnant of an idea and start advancing it!  Soon you’ll have it published and be writing the next one!

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

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