You may have wondered if I dropped off the side of the earth because I have not posted anything to the site – at least consistently – since working on my new ezine Golden Gals Only, an inbox magazine for women 50+. Now that it is officially launched and I am into the continuous improvement stage, I can get back to some things that were put on hold. You’ll also be glad to know that Columbus proved the world was not flat as the scientists of his day claimed, so you have no worries about falling off yourself. Makes you wonder what about the scientists of today, but I digress.
The encouragement to continue came from a blogging friend, who primarily but not exclusively writes movie reviews. Likely she has no idea how her Friday blog – Ramblings of a tired woman – impacted me and who knows how many others.
Experiencing a phenomena characteristic of most writers, a.k.a. writer’s block, she had the integrity to post her true feelings and let others know she was human and not a fabulous writing machine. Short and to the point, she still injected her delightful sense of humor as she further displayed her human side.
One of my goals for 2013 is to write quickly, concisely and engagingly. Not easy feats for any writer, but certainly something I can strive for. With Jane’s candor as my model, I plan to use this blog as an exercise to share some things that are important / interesting to me while working towards achieving my 2013 goals.
Do you ever draw a complete blank when preparing a speech or working on a writing project? Are you ever at a loss for words or just don’t know what to write about? If so, try this exercise that will not only provide you with wisdom (hopefully) but also get you moving past writer’s block as well.
Start off by Googling quotes and chose a quotation that you like or one that aligns with your assigned topic. Then jot down as many ideas as you can about relative topics you could get from using this quote. Don’t filter the ideas with thoughts of, “This won’t work.” Go for quantity not quality.
For example, I found the following quotation from Bil Keane. He was an American cartoonist whose comic, The Family Circus, became syndicated in many newspapers beginning in 1960. You’ll get a kick out of his play on words.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” ~ Bil Keane
You could expound or philosophize on:
Yesterdays in your life
Events from history
History and what we learn from it
Your favorite time in history
Your hopes and dreams for tomorrow
The illusiveness of tomorrow
No guarantees for tomorrow
Today and living for the here and now
Gifts in general
God – an infinitely broad topic
Why today might be God’s gift
Present (here and now)
Presents you’ve received …
Keep the list going at least long enough to get your thoughts going in an appropriate direction or until you go crazy. At any rate, the exercise should get your juices flowing in a direction that will move you off of dead center and having you wave farewell to writer’s block.
My husband is a nuts and bolts kind of guy. He can fix anything or come up with an innovative solution to make the work easier or the process more efficient. He’s passionate about his tools and has a roll-away full (and neatly arranged) so that he can find and use the right tool for the job.
In a similar way, writers are passionate about words. We lexophiles (lovers of words) relish the nuances of meaning and employ various literary devices and figures of speech to achieve our purposes. One of my favorite figures of speech is the pun or paronomasia. This play on words uses deliberate confusion of similar words or phrases to create either a humorous or serious metaphorical effect. Puns rely on the apparent similarity of words (homonymy) or various tones one word might convey (polysemy). Though serious authors like Shakespeare often used puns in their works, most today enjoy the more humorous uses of this device.
In this example, “A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion,” the play on words comes from using poultry instead of poetry. I must admit, I like reading puns but lack the talent to develop my own. Like anything else, it requires practice, and hmmm, trying my hand at it might even be a cure for writer’s block.
A friend of mine sent me an email this week with Punographics in the subject line and when I opened it, I laughed out loud at the clever examples he’d enclosed. Some of them are included with these puns. I hope they’ll kick start your weekend with a smile.