Archive for May 17th, 2011


Here is another thing that happens to all of us but we do not THINK enough about it.

We start talking to someone about a problem they have, and as we talk, they tell us the problem with each bit of advice. At the END of this process, we finally come up with the thing we realize is exactly what we SHOULD have told them at the beginning.

Once again, here is something that happens to all of us, like hearing the Emperor’s Clothes, but we drown that experience in News and Jews and Puppy Dog Tales.

You have just spent half an hour finally realizing exactly what the problem is, and the solution is boiled down to a sentence or two, which you keep repeating lamely at the ends until you can end the talk.

This is what happens to every person who has to learn to write effectively.

I sit down with something buzzing around in my mind and try to express it the way I thought of it. You feel like it’s all worked out but it just won’t come out on paper.

Ever heard anybody say THAT before:

“I had it all worked out but it wouldn’t come out on paper.”

I would bet good money you have heard YOU say that.

The idea worked out beautifully when the images were in your own mind, in the language you use with yourself.

I used to have an idea wonderfully worked out. In fact I had it so clear in my mind that it was a BORE to write it down. It was a BORE, it was WORK to force it onto the paper.

Then something awful happened.

The clear idea I had had in my own mind was no longer something I could see in my mind, where I can hop around in my own images.

I didn’t know where to start. If the concept is in your mind, you have all the exciting running around in your own head, but when you hit the keyboard, it is clunk, clunk, clunk, just one sentence after another.

It becomes WORK, and you get confused and tired. And when you have been forcing yourself back to that damned keyboard over and over and you are exhausted, you might come up , after hours of work, with a sentence that expresses what you really needed at the beginning.

You are exhausted.

You are sick of it.

And you have finally written your first sentence.