“I saw the angel in the marble and carved
until I set him free”
– Michelangelo –
My intuition is the author of my most successful writing. In fact, my intuition wrote my debut picture book, The Donkey’s Song, which is ready for pre-order now at Amazon.
The Donkey’s Song is not like anything that I have ever written before, and I have told anyone who has complimented this book that I didn’t write the piece at all. The angels wrote it. I simply typed. And that is absolutely the truth.
Please allow me to explain. When I am writing, I close my eyes, and I simply type, describing what my mind is seeing, and that is how I wrote The Donkey’s Song.
I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church, and throughout my childhood, I heard the Christmas Nativity Story at least 10 times a year. Other than that, I was in at least 1 Christmas Pageant a year. [One of my earliest reality checks is that there was only one Mary in that story], but when I began writing picture books, something within me kept nagging me to write The Nativity Story.
For a long while, I resisted that urge. I had been told that picture books with any overtones of religion would never sell in a mainstream book market.
[Picture Book Tip #1 for Today – Don’t Believe Everything That Other People Tell You About How You Yourself Should Write a Picture Book.]
But Finally, I gave in and simply shut my eyes and began to type the words that described the images of the Nativity Story that I recalled from my childhood.
Don’t Stop Free Writing to Edit
I didn’t stop and edit myself while I was writing. I simply free-wrote what I saw in my mind.
Picture Book Writing Tip #2 for Today: There’s a Time to Write and a Time to Edit – Don’t Mix the Two
The odd thing about the nativity story that I wrote is that the words came to me in rhyme. and my initial thought was: “Oh No!” I have always been told that rhyming picture books don’t sell.
[Picture Book Tip #1 for Today AGAIN – Don’t Believe Everything That Other People Tell You About How You Yourself Should Write a Picture Book.]
But back to my approach to writing. Once more, I’ll stress the fact that, in my opinion, writers should never write and edit at the same time. In my opinion, starting the editing process too soon is a great way to provoke Writer’s Block:
Writer’s Block Is Probably Editor’s Block
I have talked to a number of people about what they are calling writer’s block, but I believe that many people confuse writing with editing. In fact, I believe that what many people call writer’s block is actually editor’s block.
Especially for creative writers, I advocate freewriting as the best way to begin writing. When I am writing, I may have some idea about what I will ultimately say, but in general, I simply begin to write, and as I write, the words come to me. I don’t pause to worry about how to spell this or that, and I don’t worry about commas. I don’t even title my pieces until I finish the writing process. I have discovered that titles can also have a way of restricting me.
Just keep going like crazy and look back when it’s over. Otherwise you just get confused. – Cliff Burton-
Don’t get me wrong. There IS a time for editing. In my opinion, editing is not a pleasant experience and that is another reason that I never mix my editing with my writing.
“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions….” ― Tiffany Madison
When I write, I allow my mind and my spirit to flow freely. I reach within my mind as far as ( can reach, and I explore. That’s when my creativity soars. If I begin editing too soon in my process, I prevent myself from soaring, and I slam my creative brakes too soon. This starves my spirit to death, and my writing becomes a lifeless shadow of what it might have been otherwise.
After I have finished freewriting, it is time to put on my gloves and to begin editing. As I said before, editing is much more difficult than writing. In fact, I KNOW that I have Editor’s Block, and I’ll do just about anything to keep from editing my work. But editing is necessary.
“Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.” – Colette