All morning, I read article after article from websites and emails to fill myself up with ideas.
After going through all that, I felt like I ate 10 ramen packets: heavy calories, not many nutrients.
I like to read a bunch of stuff. But I only have so much time in the day.
My email inboxes can easily read 300 messages in a day. Reading them is a task in itself. And it’s not an efficient way to be productive.
So I try to set a schedule of when to read emails and how much time I have to do that.
Same thing with articles. The choices are so many and written well. The comparison of being in a candy store or a sea buffet applies.
After having lunch and looking at a few more articles, I knew I had enough.
“I have to get writing and drawing,” I puffed. I had a big lunch before noon.
As I write, I feel bloated and tired. I got excuses coming into my brain, prodding me to the nearest bed and taking a nap.
“Not now,” I replied. “I still have some things to write.”
“What things?” my mind inquired. “You still don’t have any idea what you’re going to write. You just overloaded me with a bunch of information we know we’re not that interested in!”
I sighed. “As much as I don’t like to admit this, I think you’re right.”
“Then, it’s settled. Give me a chance to digest all the junk I got from you. About 20 to 30 minutes man,” my mind purred.
I took a breath in and breathed it out.
“WHA? You’re refusing me??” My mind was exasperated at my answer. “You’ll pay for this! No help from me!”
So, here I am writing. It’s not like my mind is going anywhere. It still has to follow me and I force it to plunk down the words, though they aren’t… literary.
But then again, how much better were my previous posts?
Da Missus was looking for Brita filters. We were on our last one and it had to be replaced by September. She told me some of the prices online. “They’re a bit more expensive,” she said. “And we have to pay for the delivery fees.”
“Uh-huh,” I replied.
My mind wanted to distract me. Again. It noted my nails are causing problems with typing.
“Aw come on! You got to trim those fingernails!” It pleaded. “How are you going to keep typing with those things sticking out of your hands and annoying you with each tap!”
I gave in and clipped the nails for 10 minutes.
After the trim, the mind seemed to side with me. That small break allowed me to process the reading materials. I think my mind had a point about the nap…
I remember in middle school about process writing. The school gave me an elaborate red plastic folder with three sleeves. I could insert a drawing in the front cover (which I did).
I also had three slots for brainstorming, outline, and drafts (I didn’t do too much of that.)
The folder was cool, but I didn’t like process writing. It’s ironic how I’m teaching this in my institute.
Reflecting back on those days and how I’m instructing the similar steps all those years ago, I understand why we have those steps to writing.
It organizes our thoughts to produce the best possible work.
As I write more posts, I feel myself drawn to the process writing. What I hate is turning into something I could like.
Something I need to make my writing better.
While writing from what is inside of us is a good thing to do, we need to gather stuff from the outside to provide us with the building materials.
We need to take walks, see the trees, the clouds, the sky. We have to let the mind form thoughts.
Gathering ideas is the right thing to do. It has to be capped, though. I think a good 30 minutes could give enough time for the mind to play.
We got to get away from the things we gathered. That’s when a walk could do wonders. A brisk 15-minute walk to forget about life for a while.
Write It Out
Then come back. Get ready to write. Write some points down. Make an outline of how the writing should look.
Let it flow out. Push the writing until every last drop is on the paper or on the screen.
The draft is done. Get out of there and let it stew. Your mind knows that something is still brewing and it has to get ready to fix up what was first written.
When it’s time to revise, let it go and go all out.
Trust the process. While it’s nice if you had someone that can look at your post, in my case, I don’t have a peer, yet.
I have to make due with what I got.
After several fixes here and there, post.
If it’s good enough for you, then that’s that.
My humble approach to writing. It’s based on the things I’ve learned when I was young and the books I’ve read over the years.
A lot of it was from teaching how to make an essay for an English test. A lot of these essays from TOEFL to IELTS are the typical 4 to 5 paragraph essays with an introduction, 2 to 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
That approach is similar to what I’ve done in my posts.
I would like to think I’m breaking the mold, but I know that my posts are on the lines of what I student would do in 300 to 400 words.
And there’s no shame in that. Writing needs structure to become effective.
I had this tension in the back of my neck, as I did in my previous days. Writing is pleasurable and painful.
I need to make the entire experience of writing pleasurable.
More preparation of the materials is needed. More books need to read for better writing impact.
Enjoying my other hobbies like art and movies would contribute to better writing.
My mind nods. “You have a long way to go. But today wasn’t so bad. I wonder what your readers would say about this?”
By the Way
If you made it this far, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I hope you will take the time to comment or share this post.