Blogging Insights — Turn on the Faucet

For her weekly Blogging Insights prompts, Dr. Tanya provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from Louis L’Amour, an American novelist and short-story writer known primarily for his Western novels.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned.”

Except for my own writing prompts, which I usually schedule anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in advance, most of my posts are spontaneous. I might read, see, or hear something that will trigger an idea for a post and I’ll start writing about what it was.

I also often write posts in response to word or photo prompts from other bloggers and, in many cases, I don’t know until I wake up and start my day by reading what was posted by bloggers I follow while I was sleeping, what those prompt words or photos will be. I then leverage whatever inspiration those prompts provide me and start crafting posts around them.

So, in the context of Louis L’Amour’s quote, writing prompts to me are the faucets that other bloggers open for me in order let the words flow from my mind onto the keypad of my iPhone and end up as posts on my blog.

Does that make any sense?

Blogging Insights — Non-writing Writers

For her weekly Blogging Insights prompts, Dr. Tanya provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from German-language writer of visionary fiction, Franz Kafka.

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”

Like most Kafka quotes and much of what he wrote, I found this quote to be rather “Kafkaesque,” meaning odd, peculiar, strange, surreal, unusual, and weird.

What does he mean by a “non-writing writer”? Is that someone who is not a writer but who attempts to write? Or is he talking about someone who is a writer but is not, for whatever reason, writing?

In either case, I am unclear why a non-writing writer should be considered to be a monster, or why not writing would be “courting insanity.”

I like to write, although I don’t think of myself as a “writer.” I enjoy blogging, but if, for whatever reason, I stopped blogging, I don’t believe that would turn me some kind of monster and don’t think that not writing/blogging would bring on any degree of insanity. I would miss it, yes, but I am pretty sure I’d remain sane.

Maybe I’m taking Kafka’s quote too literally, but I guess I would sum up my opinion about this particular quote in one word, which would be “huh?”

Blogging Insights — Do You Feel Me?

Dr. Tanya has decided to change things up a bit for her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. Instead of using the Q&A format, she provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and ask us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from American novelist E. L. Doctorow.

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”

To me, Doctorow’s quote is similar to the writing advice that encourages us to “show, don’t tell.” It’s a technique in which the story and the characters are related through sensory details and actions rather than through exposition. It puts an emphasis on using and showing actions in order to convey the emotions you want readers to experience and interpret, rather than telling the reader what is happening or has happened. It results in a better experience for readers because the “show, don’t tell” style of writing is more immersive for the readers, allowing them to be right there in the room with the story’s characters.

So yes, I concur with E. L. Doctorow. Strive to get your readers to feel something when they read your words.

Blogging Insights — Don’t Interrupt Me

Dr. Tanya has decided to change things up a bit for her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. Instead of using the Q&A format, she provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and ask us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from French author Jules Renard.

“Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.”

Unless you’re a comedy writer for a TV talk show like Saturday Night Live or The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and must, therefore, work in collaboration with other writers, writing is mostly a solo activity. Well, it is for me, anyway. Hence, unless some emergency or other urgent matter occurs, I don’t want to have my train of thought broken by being interrupted while writing something.

And at my age, I need to write almost everything that occurs to me down as soon as it pops into my head, lest I immediately forget it. Thus, if I am in the process of writing a brilliant sentence regarding a tremendously insightful thought using a few perfectly chosen words, all of that will escape me if interrupted.

So, bottom line, I agree with Monsieur Renard’s quote, although sometimes I find that my writing will be interrupted by my own second thoughts.