For this next part, I would like to return to the first person and then take you back to the fall of 2007. If you’re still with me after the odd beginning to this series, let me set the scene. Your fearless writer guide is in her first graduate-level writing course, “Nonfiction Techniques.” Like each of the other students in the class, I have signed up to provide a writing tip during one of the classes. Mine falls on Halloween.
I dug up that tip and would like to present it to you now. Here goes. And don’t worry – even though this debuted on Halloween, I did not wear (and never have worn) Hammer pants.
(Keep reading for a fun bonus at the end!)
Stop — Hammer Time
Consider a few quotations:
“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” -Voltaire
“All action results from thought, so it is thoughts that matter.” -Sai Baba Gita
“Stop — Hammer Time.” -MC Hammer
Hammer Time is what I like to call it when you take your hands off the keyboard or let go of the pen for moment to think. Taking a little time to hammer out your writing can solve a lot of issues.
Having trouble phrasing a sentence? Stop. Then say it aloud or in your head in different ways until it sounds right.
Not sure where the piece is going? Stop. Write or re-write an outline, or think about how you’d describe it in a few sentences.
Can’t get your point across? Stop. You may not have a clear idea of what that point is in the first place. Think about it, then write it.
Thinking is an important but often overlooked part of writing. I try to keep this in mind and hope you will too!
[Here comes my favorite part]
Oh, and if you need a visual reminder, here’s a fun craft project that will help:
1. Cut along the dotted line:
Photo by Mollybob, used under Creative Commons license.