Publishing stories of fascinating Prairie People and Unsung Heroes

Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver - author, editor, and publisher of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan. We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also publish genres of healing and wellness, humour, children's fiction, and rural poetry. Visit our website to learn more about our books.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Just Write

Good day!

Last week, I received this question from someone who recently read my 'To Do' blog:

"First off I want to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I'd like to ask if you don't mind. I was interested to know how you centre yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Kudos!"

So I thought I would reply in today's blog with two simple words: 

"Just write."

It can be difficult at times to come up with the perfect beginning for any written work, so I often find it helpful to just start typing. I'll write down the other things I want to say in the article, blog or whatever I am working on and eventually the beginning will either write itself or at least come more into focus for me. With the technology we have today, it is a simple process to go back at any point to any spot in your text and do some editing or make additions, etc.

I try to read and re-read what I've written at least three times before I hit the magic 'send' or 'publish' button. (Typos creep into my writing all the time. It's quite annoying, actually. Why doesn't every program have a proper spell-check?)

I always set deadlines for myself and I try hard to meet those deadlines so at least something gets done around here (Ha! Ha!)! (It's important to have self-discipline as a writer and especially as someone who is self-employed, making a living from writing and editing etc.)

I consider options for the best way to start writing a new piece long before I sit down to write it - and I rarely sit at the computer to do that thinking. I'll go for a short walk, water my flower garden (one of the advantages of working in a home-based office), rinse out my tea cup, tidy up my office, look at Facebook or Twitter, or do something else for a few minutes until my self-imposed deadline looms very, very close and then I have to do something!

Some times, a good beginning comes easier to me than others. For two of my books, the inspiration came after an interview with someone. I wrote the Prologue of Never Give Up after a particular interview with Ted Jaleta, the subject of the book.

For Never Leave Your Wingman, I came home from the Pasqua Hospital after standing in the cancer clinic waiting area and then interviewing one of the nurses who had cared for cancer survivor Dionne Warner during Dionne's treatments there. It was winter and I came into our home, sat down on the back step - winter coat and boots still on - and typed the Prologue on my Blackberry! I'd never done that before - but the words were tumbling around in my mind and they had to be captured with whatever I had available! It was pretty cool.

And finally - don't be too hard on yourself. In the world of blogs, there is a lot of imperfection and the readers are a pretty forgiving bunch. If you were ever to write something that was to be published in a book or other format more permanent than a blog - that's what editors are for!

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