Monday, May 6, 2013

Whatever Works is a Good Technique

A great teacher of mine once said "Whatever works is a good technique." He was talking about acting, but the same rule applies for writers.
Whatever helps you write more joyfully, or helps you write better, or just more often, is a good technique, for YOU.
Every writer I've known has had his or her rules, or techniques, for writing.  They begin as wild guesses, desperate attempts for creativity, then become habits, and soon gain the status of rules--the breaking of which, the writer often feels, will bring "bad mojo" or "chase away the muse."
Those aspiring writers who have yet to get into a groove of being working writers often have no idea how to begin the process of writing. The answer is, of course, quite simple--"Whatever works is a good technique"!
Loraine, a writer friend of mine, recently stumbled across the writings of the amazing Rita Mae Brown. Loraine was amazed to find that not everyone knew of this literary genius, and soon began writing letters to her. The "Dear Rita Mae Brown" letters began. Being in her writing group, I was one of the few people chosen to read them in rough form.
The letters soon evolved to be about a lot more than writing--like RMB's own books--and all of Loraine's friends have been caught up in following the story as it unfolds, daily or weekly.
The reason I'm sharing this is: simply reading RMB's writing (and reading books about her colorful life) inspired Loraine, and gave her the impetus to write--along with the almost-daily "Dear RMB" letters--page after page of her own previously stalled novel-in-progress.
Whatever works, right?
I've often told writers who feel "blocked" or "stalled" or whatever they call it, that they need (among other things) to read writing that inspires them. This is one of the best--and fastest--results I've seen, in action, but I think there's always some good result.
The Dear RMB letters are now posted on Loraine's blog, "From Paige to Page"which you can find here. Start with the letters posted in April, and written in February. The link should take you to the first letter, dated 2-24-13.
If you want to be a writer and you aren't writing, then write. If you feel you can't write, try reading (or watching or visiting) something to inspire yourself--if it works, good. If not, try something else. Remember, "Whatever works is a good technique."
hasta pronto!