Posted on Leave a comment

Why Write? – Part Eight

Please Note This Course is Completely Free of Charge

If you have just joined us, then you need to read previous editions in the series, you will find these here:

With each publication in this series, I was giving you assignments to do and asked you to return these to me for editing. This way you sent in your effort, which I called a ‘submission’ and I send back a ‘correction’ to you. In doing this, you ended up with a comparison.

If you have just joined us, you are free to submit the earlier assignments to us for correction, to help get you started.

Otherwise I have discontinued this routine for practical reasons.

As discussed in part Seven, discipline is a vital characteristic for a writer. As discipline is a learned state, we can all, with no exception, develop the habit. If you are a competitive sports person, fitness of body and mind as well as honing the skills required for your particular brand of sport are all essential factors.

Competitive sports people set markers along the pathway to achieving their goals; by virtue of the fact that this system is used world-over, it is probably achieving its purpose.

Writing is no different.

As writers, each of us can use the system above to reach our dreams and I am sure many authors will attest its success.

Best selling author Paulo Coelho wrote that, early in his career, he set down to write at 8 am. Took time off for lunch then worked on to five pm. From what I recall, his wife was influential in helping him to apply this discipline. In more recent times he attests to first thing, spending time finding reasons to avoid starting his writing. Once he starts he will write onwards through the day into the night.

Setting a goal and then staging markers to the point of completion, did not work for me. This maybe something to do with the fact that I am a pantser and or the fact that I was officially diagnosed ADD.

What has produced results for me, so far, is at prescribed times I sit down and write for as many hours as I have available. This is my discipline. I think that I am extremely fortunate, inasmuch as I love writing so much, it is not difficult for me to start writing and continue for hours on end, punching out about 800 to 1500 words an hour. Thank God, so far, I have never had ‘writer’s block.’

Bottom line though, is disciplining myself to write at prescribed times. Disciplining myself to set about my home-based business, in order that my bank balance stays out the red. Assisting my wife wherever and whenever she allows me to do so. Fortunately, my wife’s passion is to see me achieve – for this I shall be eternally grateful.

I have discovered this discipline has allowed me to accomplish without goals and markers. Discipline has kept me in that place where my passion is allowed to drive my creativity and send me across the finish-line of accomplishment.

In short, get down and do it – consistently.

That behind us, let us touch on two important writing points:

  1. Over Used Words.

These words I tend to overuse: ‘that, and, so, was, then, also, great…..’the list is endless. Visit this link: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/common-adjectives/

In my opinion overused words water down our creativity. Diluted creativity bores our readers and is a sure sign of immaturity. You would be quite surprised if you went over your recent writing efforts and see how many of these words you use sub conscientiously.

Try this exercise: Without giving it any thought write a quick seventy-five words; you should be well equipped to do this by now. Take the completed article and see how many over-used words you can find.

Rewrite the article removing these words and replacing them with more imaginative one’s. In many cases this will require a change of layout in your sentences. You may even have to completely rewrite certain sentences.

Once you have completed this, you will be surprised at what a far more interesting article you have written.

  1. Use of dull unimaginative words, especially adjectives and verbs.

Take your rewritten piece above and now set about changing as many words with others. Try this link:  https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/. You will find interesting synonyms here.

On finishing this exercise, compare your present article with the first and you will be pleasantly surprised.

All rights reserved©sirpeterjamesdotcom 2020

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; http://www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Why Write? Part six

If you have just joined us, then you need to read previous editions in the series, you will find these here:

With each publication in this series, I was giving you assignments to do and asked you to return these to me for editing. This way you sent in your effort, which I called a ‘submission’ and I send back a ‘correction’ to you. In doing this, you ended up with a comparison.

I am now going to change the system. In future you will not send in submissions, but I will publish my version of the assignment a week later and that way you can compare what you have done with what I have written.

If you have just joined us, you are free to submit the earlier assignments to us for correction, to help get you started.

Continue reading Why Write? Part six

Posted on Leave a comment

Lockdown!

Our President placed this country under lockdown as at midnight on Thursday, March 26th.

I am the oldest member of my immediate family, which consists of two children and five grandchildren, living in five different homes within a twenty five kilometer radius of one another.

I have never experienced a ‘lockdown’ before.

I grew up in the latter part of the great war and lived in tough post war times following D-Day. My father and three uncles were part of the war machine. One uncle was killed and thankfully my father and his brother came home to us.

I watched two sons conscripted into the war machine in the ‘80’s. Both came home alive, one was wounded and recovered physically, but never psychologically.

Thankfully my grandchildren have grown, one in his teens, four into their twenties. Two have university degrees and three are on their way; all have good homes.

At the onset of Covid-19, my grandchildren, faced with far greater media hype than I ever experienced, were placed in a situation of doubt and concern; notwithstanding their access to information on the internet and research skills acquired in the course of their education, or maybe, because of this fact.

We parents are faced with both the concerns for our children and the economy of our country; it’s population of fifty seven million souls; six million of which live in our city. We are concerned for our own Small Businesses, the livelihood of which supports our family.

This, in addition to our biggest concern for the potential physical effects of the virus upon our population in a third world country, which could not cope with a pandemic, like say, Italy!

In this country, we have the best government since 1994. Our President and Minister of Finance are very capable men (my opinion). So, from a security and economic perspective we have a small chance.

From the virus viewpoint, where the greater percentage of our people are not familiar with preventative measures that need to be applied and our country having very limited medical resource to cope with the size of our population, “Solum habemus fide in Deum – In God alone we trust.”

From what I can gather, our government, businesses and many responsible people, seemed to have galvanized themselves into action. If my Grandchildren asked me what more could be done to help, I would have to say that, outside of following good hygienic preventative measures and obeying what our government have instructed – nothing.

What I would tell them is: we need to look in another direction. Into that lesser understood place within ourselves. That place from which we receive priceless advice, honest advice, advice we are able to rely on.

In the event of some traumatic event affecting our family, our community, country, the globe, as the Covid-19 we face now, what is our very first turn? To fear. Fear of dying, losing a family member, relative, friends. Fear of lack, of material loss, of unemployment, the list is endless. Then we seek advice from wherever we can source it, reliable or otherwise, after which, we worry, even to the point of illness.

With any catastrophe there are certainly two issues that will arise in it’s wake:

  • We can do nothing to change the course of the catastrophe.
  • We can do nothing about the (possibly major) changes that will take place in our lives.

We should accept that the only place where we can make decisions affecting our future  is now, in this moment. The past is too late and the ‘future’, in reality, does not exist.

If we refuse to act in this moment now, we will find that our situation, after a night’s sleep, is in the ‘now’ of what we called ‘tomorrow!’

Among the farming and business population of the country in which I was raised, there was a common saying, “Next year will be better.” I left that country eventually, not by choice. The decision I had to make was almost immediate and I realize now that it was made in a moment called now. That ‘now’ was made fifty years ago and I am so grateful, that I made the move, as I have watched that country fall lower than its knees, laid waste by corrupt, greedy politicians.

Consulting our inner selves now and planning as to how we will live our lives, irrespective of what our decisions are, will allow us to navigate from today’s now, onward.

It will allow us to plan ahead, because that is wise; but to plan building our life’s foundations on a solid rock now, not wait for the elusive ‘tomorrow.’

It will allow us to live every moment of our lives in the now, because neither the past nor the future exist – the only time is, now.

We have been given an opportunity of, now twenty days, lockdown. An opportunity to:

  • Evaluate our relationships, spiritual and human.
  • Evaluate the things for which we need to be grateful.
  • Evaluate what is beneficial in our lives now and discard the unprofitable.
  • Evaluate what we tolerate and get rid of what’s useless for us to tolerate.

This list is by no means exhaustive.

In this moment NOW we have been offered a window of time to consider, what changes we can make, before changes, over which we have no control, will move in first.

Don’t waste this space pondering on what could happen, just make it happen.

All rights reserved sirpeterjamesdotcom©2020-03-20

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).