Finally we are coming back to what this blog is all about. I won’t grumble about the library system and how long it took for the books I requested to come in, because I have them now at my disposal. I suppose I could have bought them from amazon.com, weakening my pocketbook, but this is a much better alternative. There is something rather enjoyable about going into a library. Ever since I was a child I have frequented or volunteered in a library to explore its offerings. It is like a treasure hunt, one in which I partake of gladly. The older the library, the better – with its charisma and charm. My local library is sadly lacking in that department, but it is serviceable and quite capable of handling my needs.
The two books that came in are “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser and “On Writing” by Stephen King. I have dived back into my studies with “On Writing Well”, fitting after yesterday’s disclosure of my check-out line conversations. As I began reading, my original plan was to read 1-2 chapters, digest them, and spit them out in my blog. However, I couldn’t stop last night with only 2 chapters. This book has touched on the very topics I have been considering of late. I hate to constantly just share with you quotes from the books I am reading, but sometimes that is the best way.
“Therefore a fundamental rule is: be yourself. No rule, however is harder to follow. It requires writers to do two things that by their metabolism are impossible. They must relax, and they must have confidence. Telling a writer to relax is like telling a man to relax while being examined for a hernia, and as for confidence, see how stiffly he sits, glaring at the screen that awaits his words. See how often he gets up to look for something to eat or drink. A writer will do anything to avoid the act of writing.”
When I first started this blog, even a few weeks ago, some of my writing was contrived and not fully me. As I gain confidence in my subject and enjoy the process, I believe my writings have a lot more Kay in them. Mr. Zinsser states that you should write as you talk, and not put superfluous words into the text. My problem is that I appear to be long-winded, even in my everyday speech. In my defense, it shows that I am educated, but it also shows I have a hodgepodge of information rolling around in my brain.
“How can the rest of us achieve such enviable freedom from clutter? The answer is to clear our heads of clutter. Clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other. It’s impossible for a muddy thinker to write good English….. Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair.”
I am left with hope as I study. Consistently I am finding the problems I face have been addressed before. Free your mind… and the rest will follow!