"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

An Open Letter to Future Writers...


Personal Note:
I recently received an Email from Bob Clary of Webucator, requesting my participation in the "Teach Your Talent" Project.

Flattered of course, I agreed to contribute by penning today's post. I hope you enjoy it.
As I believe it is virtually impossible to teach all the complexities of writing in a singular session, I opted instead to provide "instruction" in the way of a personal letter to future writers.

Whatever your level, I hope that it inspires you and moves you to "the head of the class."

Dear Future Writers:

Many moons ago, a Chinese quote stated: “May you live in interesting times.”
It seems prophetic in a way, when we consider the exciting dynamics that shape today’s culture.
It’s the 21st Century and these are indeed “exciting” times. Like Star Trek travelers, “we have dared to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
 
Think about it. The Internet and social media have revolutionized the way we communicate and connect. We are privileged to be able to learn from and interact with people across the globe through new technology, interactive mediums, and even “Tweets” from your “Peeps.”
We’ve witnessed a Black man in the White House, traditional marriage is being redefined, and we’ve embraced many “firsts” in the way of education and health reform.
What a wonderful time to be a writer! Everything is changing and evolving.
What does this mean for you? As a writer, this amazing era provides a smorgasbord in the way of food for thought. There are endless opportunities to "sample," experiment, examine... to create, to grow.
To chronicle what you see, what you hope for, and what you would like others to see through your life’s “lenses.”
 
Though each writer has to chart his own course, I’d like to share a few tips to provide fewer detours as you travel.
  • Keep a journal and keep it with you. You never know when or where inspiration may hit you.
  • Remember what your English teacher taught you; but don’t be afraid to break a few rules. e.e. Cummings did.
  • Study the “old greats” (Twain, Shakespeare, Tolstoy), as well as your contemporaries. The wedding tradition of “something old, something new” definitely applies in writing.
  • Believe in yourself. Writers have to deal with criticism on an ongoing basis--from readers, editors, reviewers; self-confidence is a must, if you are to go the distance.
  •  Read. How are you to know how to engage an audience, spin a phrase, or evoke emotion, if you have not experienced it first-hand? Reading sparks the imagination and feeds the soul.
  • Pay it forward. When you make it, (and no doubt you will), take the time to nurture the talent and dreams of others who seek to follow in your footsteps.

And last but not least, create with care. Your words are as much a part of your legacy as your Sunday dinners. They have the potential of impacting thousands of people for many years to come. Future generations may indeed be studying your work in a classroom--along with other literary greats. You just never know…

Sincerely,

Jennifer Brown Banks 


This post is dedicated to Bonita Bennett, of Harbon Publishing; for taking the time to make a difference in my career many moons ago.
 

 





7 comments:

  1. And may I be the first to say that to learn from you, Jennifer, is to learn from the best. The only one of your six tips I don't seem to be able to do is the first one. My arthritis makes journaling tough, but I do try to get my ideas to the keyboard shortly after I get them. We do indeed live in interesting times. Excellent post.

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 12, 2014 at 5:35 AM

      Wow! Thanks so much, Sue. It's the ultimate compliment. I treasure the fact that you're a part of my Blog family. :-)

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  2. I'm with Susan - learning from you has been such a blessing! These tips are wonderful and timeless, and when we practice them we cannot help but succeed. Thanks for being an inspirational and informative part of the journey. :)

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 12, 2014 at 5:36 AM

      Karen,

      I wouldn't have missed the "ride" for the world. You too are a blessing. Thanks so kindly. :-)

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  3. By the way...for those interested, Webucator is also offering free selected computer classes for the month of October. Details provided at their site.

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  4. Yes, the Internet and social media can offer an incredible amount of possibilities, on my blog I actually write about lot's of such possiblities that are out there. A journal is great for jotting down thoughts and ideas to build your own source of Inspiration.

    I also have several dedicated topic specific note books, (even (pre) sell them on my blog btw) and a practical note taker note book instantly gives a feel of 'setting up your office' where ever you open it up.

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 20, 2014 at 4:19 AM

      Thanks for your feedback, H.P.

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