[Clayart] fear of writing
melpots at mail.com
Thu Feb 2 11:06:26 UTC 2023
In the last twenty five years running clayart I have talked to many of you.
I have been complimented often "you love to write, etc."
I had to overcome my extreme fear of public writing. two things helped a great deal.
clayart for one. when I started telling my japanese stories so many folks wrote
back private letters with thanks. (notice lower case) in those days there was a
protocol to speak softly and tell your story. UPPER CASE WAS LIKE SHOUTING.
and best of all, if you just wrote from the heart, a few errors where forgiven.
Windows 95 was a huge jump for me. And then I got a copy of MS Word and it was like
a wonder. Spelling errors in red, green underline for silly sentences. It was a Miracle.
And when you start your story, do it in word pad. Don't edit, just let the stream of ideas
flow. Copy the doc and paste it into word, or some other fine writing software. I know for sure
that writing a fairly long story to clayart may take me an hour. I re/write 5 times, re/read
for content. A six paragraph story is at least an hour.
Now the biggy. If you write "your story" you do not have to do research. It is in your head.
You lived it. no footnotes or professor looking over your shoulder. It is you, alone, telling your story.
People 40 years from now will not care about grammar, they want the story. (thanks Terry, your story was
brilliant this morning.)
Ruth Butler, the former editor of CM helped me a great deal. I will always be indebted to her.
Another fine professional writer really helped me. This sentence says it all. "There is no such
thing as "writers block", the reason one gets stuck is you are not organized with your story, so
you quit." Sit down with a pencil, like making a drawing. block out some ideas, then tell them.
Ruth Butler told me one day on the phone..."potters do not write" and many of them majored in clay in
college because of writing fear." There are not many potters going off to Harvard. They come from
Junior College. And Ruth loved those people the best. Limited arrogance. As I told fellow teachers,
"hard to be arrogant when your crotch is full of wet clay." And without doubt, a room full of kids
loving clay had a special intelligence that no Harvard Professor could ever have. There are many ways
to be "smart".
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