The word ‘pretend’ has a bad press. We worry about doctors who aren’t doctors, builders who can’t build, teachers who aren’t qualified to teach. But the word ‘pretend’ comes from the Latin “praetendo” meaning to stretch forth, reach out, extend. Pretending allows us to believe we can do something new and different.
Pretending allows us to stretch ourselves beyond our reality into our imagination. If we didn’t pretend, would we dare to go after our dreams?
Write ‘Who Am I?’ on ten cards. Then write rapidly without censoring. Now, sort the cards in order of importance.
Read these back. Imagine them written by someone else and ask :
1. What do these cards tell you about this person?
2. What things are most important?
3. What types of things would this person enjoy doing?
4. If this person had six months to live, how would he spend his time?
Where does one start? What can I tell you? I just don’t know.
I think that is the mystery of writing. That we just don’t know. Until we sit down at the keyboard or pull the cap off the pen. When we face the empty page, we just don’t have a clue. And then “Will it be any good?” How many times have you asked that question? I know I have. I think it every day.
Back in 1994, I started to read anything I could find to do with writing. I made copious notes. That’s what I’m going to share here: but only the techniques that work for me.
So what I intend to write regular posts about writing techniques. Short and pithy. Nothing more than a hundred words long. That’s the ambition.