Sunday, December 23, 2007

I have been tagged, I shall tag

Kate Harding has been so kind as to tag me in a roar for powerful words meme. Also, she was so kind as to say some words that leave me blushing with thanks.

The rules as I understand them are as follows: Say 3 things that you think make for strong writing and then tag five more folks.

I am thrilled to participate -- it feels like getting asked to the prom. I will have no problem tagging five writers (except in limiting myself to 5), but I've been thinking since yesterday about how to verbalize what I think makes for powerful writing. I'll do my best.

It's good to need to think about, though. These last months have been active. Writing and thinking about writing have been put on hold to the point where I'm just plain pissed off. Perhaps I can use this as a step back in.

Here goes:

Figure out who you are. Write stuff you'd never show anybody. Talk to yourself. Develop echolalia. Travel. Burn the musty journals that the old you wrote. Find your comfort zone and overstep it.

Get over yourself. Yes, our stories are particular and important, but if you approach something as though it is beyond precious and you are the only one in the world who's ever had such a deep experience, nobody's going to believe you, and nobody's going to want in. Because it's not true that you are the only one who's had such a deep experience. Nearly everybody feels un-understandable like that. That's why good writing works.

Crap. I only have two.

Here's who I tag:

1. Kate Greenstreet
2. David Dodd Lee
3. John Gallaher
4. Kristi Maxwell
5. Matt Hart

The work of all five of these folks astounds me, and they will no doubt have wise and helpful insights to this discussion.


John Gallaher said...


(Which reminds me, I lost your book, along with Cate Marvin's, but then I found hers. Yours is still missing. I have a young son, can you tell?)

Kate Harding said...

Nearly everybody feels un-understandable like that. That's why good writing works.

And that is exactly the kind of thing I knew you'd be able to say in 2 sentences. Damn, girl.

paula said...

John, I shall consider it an honor to have gained a young audience.

intact and kate, thank you!