Sunday, March 02, 2014

Hard Thinking

It’s one of those days when I spend more time thinking about what I’m writing than actually writing.

I think about how I want to proceed, and where I think the story is going, and where the story is actually going.

These days devoted to thinking are becoming almost as important as the days that I spend writing.

One of my teachers, Norma Fox Mazer, once told me that the hardest part of writing is thinking, and that's because writing—when you’re stepping into the unknown—is about figuring things out.

On some days you can figure them out by writing--fast or slow, new work or revisions--and the words themselves reveal the solution.

On other days, though, the only way to arrive at a solution is to step away from the page and think your way through the thicket to a new way of understanding whatever you're trying to write.

Writing takes hard thinking.

Ultimately it's what we ask of a writer, and what we want to give to a reader, isn't it? 

Honest, hard-earned thought.

Learning how to think about a work-in-progress takes time and patience. It isn't something a writer can rush.

The more time you spend thinking, the more you’ll come to know, which makes sense if you consider the origin of the word “think,” from the Latin word “tongere”—to know.

It might help, too, to consider the definition of “to think,” which is to use our mind “actively to form connected ideas.” Isn't that what we're doing when we're trying to write our story?

So, give yourself the time to think about your story, to get to know your characters, to figure out ways to form connections between your theme and your plot. 

Hard thinking can help improve your story. 


Dianne Ochiltree said...

Great post, Bruce. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of thinking time. It's a vital step in the writing process! You can't rush creativity. The words will come in their own time.

Bruce Black said...

Thinking is vital to the writing process, you're so right, Dianne, and you can't rush the process. It takes what it takes. Hope your work is going well!

Bruce Black said...
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