THE MUSIC OF WORDS part TWO
I REMAIN AMAZED by the productivity potential of poets (such as Lois Beebe Hayna—see last week’s blog) who have that unique ear and perspective that other writers work so hard to develop. I’ve gleaned a few pointers from her regarding the creative process of writing poetry. I also believe these concepts apply to writing well in all genres. Here are the main tools she’s given me:
- “You must have a good sense about words and their definitions, in order to be a good writer. However, you must be in love with words in order to be an excellent writer.” Truer words were never spoken! If I’ve learned nothing else from Lois it is this: know the definition-s of the words—the dictionary definitions, the slang definitions and the social/cultural definitions. That is where true creativity comes in play—knowing which definition fits best in the specific spot you’re placing it, or the play of multiple definitions that allow the reader a variety of ways to interpret what is on the page.
- Write about the things that interest you: what you care about, what you know about and/or what you might be considered an expert in. There is no substitute for being passionate about your subject matter. If you are bored with the topic, your readers will also be bored.
- Don’t be afraid to research! Even though you are comfortable with what you know about a subject, there is always more to learn. In this day of instant information what was accepted as fact yesterday may be totally inaccurate today. Readers will catch authors in misstatements very quickly and that is not the desired reputation to build.
With these three key components you, too, will create music with the words you write. Because Lois is willing to release her work to literary journals, chap-book editors, contests and university publications, her poetry (and perspectives) have reached into thousands of homes. Yes, there were the rejections to deal with, but she did not let those stop her. Today there is a Library Room at Regis University (Denver, Colorado) named for her: The Lois Beebe Hayna Creative Writing Center. In it you will find several binders of her published and unpublished writings and young poets sitting at desks or curled up in a cushioned chair—writing!
I’ve heard writers groan about being “stuck” or experiencing “writers’ block.” Lois Hayna never let us use those words around her, always directing us to discover something new about the things that interest us and then “just let the words fall onto the page. Once they’re there, you can enhance the concepts, cut what doesn’t work, and fine-tune the piece to speak to you.”
SO, where are you in the process of creating your next—and best—piece of writing? Are you researching a new and different subject matter that caught your eye on last night’s TV-news? Did you hear someone use a word in conversation that didn’t fit—triggering discord in your writing ear? Or, have you been writing pages and pages on your favorite topic and are ready to talk to a publisher? Wherever you are—don’t stop! Keep going! You may just be the next author to have a Library Room of creative inspiration named after YOU! ⚓︎
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.