Friday, January 6, 2012

A word, a sentence or two, and then a paragraph

Years ago, when I was in school, a professor gave a journal assignment as part of the coursework. I wrote flowery prose loaded with adjectives and adverbs. I wrote heartwarming, heartfelt, and sometimes gut wrenching personal essays, and once I wrote this entry: I have no idea what to write today. Some days my writing flows and other days I feel as if the words have dried up.

He red inked my last page: You have written the perfect journal and if I graded these on a competitive basis, you would have the only "A" in the class and the next highest grade would be a "C-".

From that day forward I vowed not to be a slacker. I learned how to show and not tell, how to use strong vivid verbs. I lived up to what that teacher believed about me when I didn't believe in myself. I filled the page with fluff if I had to, but I never turned in a two sentence assignment again.

I have been writing seriously and getting published for about twelve years. I have attended classes, workshops, and my first conference, but I am mostly self-taught. I have a love of writing and a God given talent. But sometimes I lose my stride. Some days I am off and running and stay at that pace for a solid week. Other times I slug along and sometimes, I can't even get out of the rut. Every writer feels this way.

My two sentence journal entry was a start, not a finish, but some days that's all we can produce, a germ of an idea, an honest feeling. Write it down! Words on paper motivate as well as frustrate. No matter what your stride is, don't hang out too long on the sidelines. Get in there and believe in yourself.

I have accepted Sylvia Forbes' January Writers challenge to write something every day in January. Sylvia is the publisher Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar.

Would I be considered a slacker if I used this blog entry as today's writing accomplishment?


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