Friday, January 6, 2012

Do Inquiring Minds Really Want to Know?

Many bloggers participate in what is called Five Minute Fridays.  They put their fingers on the keyboard and type, non-stop, for five minutes. Everyone types whatever comes to them from the same word. Well, I tried to do it today because I wanted to see if it was even possible for me to do it, and tried is all I accomplished. I opened Word, looked at the time, and started to type.  I used the same word that other bloggers used: ROAR.

My erasers were so well-used that there
would only be a small piece left.
Onto the next eraser!
I only got two sentences written before I hit "delete" to fix a spelling error.  I then freaked out because I thought I was not supposed to do that.  And this is the honor system after all....Ohjust type, Diane...

I am an editing freak.  I type, I edit, I type some more and re-edit. Sometimes, I even edit after my post has been posted!

When I was a child in grade school, we used pencil.  I would write, then erase; write, then erase. I do not remember what grade I was in when we were no longer allowed to use pencils. We had to use a pen.  OH, NO!  I would write, cross out; write and cross out.  But, I made the straightest cross outs - my lines were so neat!  Then when electric typewriters came out, I always had a bottle of White Out handy! Today I have the "DELETE" key!  WAHOO - so easy!

I attend a writer's workshop once a month. Once a month, I must sit and write for 20 minutes.  It is almost torture for me because I make mistakes or misspell a word or write a sentence, but realize it should go in the paragraph above.  I have such a difficult time, not editing. Then we read what we wrote and I get so intimidated because there are some amazing writers in these workshops - writer's who write so eloquently without editing. The problem is I'm so concentrating on not editing, that I know I'm not writing to my potential. And I know the point of the workshops are to hone our writing skills, not become proficient proofreaders...Sigh...If only my teacher, Anne Kelly-Edmunds, really knew how difficult it is not to edit!  She never seems to have that struggle. And then I think, "That's why they are good writers. Good writing flows naturally."  (After all, I saw the movie Misery.  And the author [James Caan] types away on his manual typewriter - no proofreading or erasing, no mistake fixing, or rewording sentences. He flawlessly finishes his ready-for-the-publisher book.)  Sigh...
I almost don't know how to write without editing.  I don't know that I want to write without editing!  And I even check and recheck for accuracy - there is no fiction in my non-fiction writing!

And I always find typos in books.  Always.

Well...I'm sure this post is not an encouraging word to anyone and for that I'm sorry.  But, my inquiring mind really wants to know...

Does this quirk make me a perfectionist or do I have a natural talent as an proofreader?
Is it creativity or is it that I truly just want to glorify Jesus in my writing?

I think it might be all of the above. And that's OK.  You just won't see Five Minute Fridays on my blog.

P.S.  Pam, I clicked and dragged the eraser onto my post!  I'm so happy I learned something new!  Thank you so much!  (I even edited that!  I moved the photo to different sides of the post to see which looked better.  Then ten minutes later added the parenthesis to this P.S.)


I actually had fun writing this post, laughing at my quirkiness. But, it definitely took me longer than five minutes!  Good night my friends!

Because of Him and Unto Him


Pam said...

Well... I'm thinking that you sound a lot like me - and I think that first it was a "people pleasing" thing as children. That fear that we would make a mistake, or someone would look down on us... That can be good and bad. It can keep us from just plunging in and getting something written without worrying what someone else might think, or if we are doing it "right" etc. Or, it can spur us on to polishing and creating something beautiful for the love of it and for glory to the one who made us creative! :) I tend to go back and edit a lot because I want it to be the best I can make it... I enjoy finding just the right word, adding a shade of color here or there, like a painting. And sometimes that word doesn't come to me until I've read and re-read something many many times. So, lol, I often go back and "polish" (edit) after posting too. One example, just last night I suddenly noticed a misspelled word on my "Mae" post - after having read it so many times. It's crazy that I hadn't noticed I'd typed scarfs instead of scarves! The eye can accommodate so much that we don't even see it! I would encourage you to just write out a first draft without any editing, Diane. Then go back like an artist adding color to a painting and change a word here, re-word a phrase there etc. There is NO perfect writing method... some professionals like to outline everything they write and get it all neatly planned out. (I can't do that!) Others like to write "from the seat of their pants" as they put it, making it up as it goes along. I often don't "see" the way something is going until I get it written and suddenly I think, "aha! I should make this happen or that..." I want to banish the voices from childhood that made me feel like I had to make it perfect the first time. Life just isn't that way. And the fun thing about creating is finding new ways to say things... AFTER you get the bones of it written. (If you always stop yourself every minute, then you stop the flow of your thoughts before you can even get them down. It's more important to get it down and then add or subtract.) Make sense? In recent years I've been criticized as a poor writer for not seeing a typo here or there.. and now I realize that is hogwash. So there is an extra space, or a missing comma... like you said, I see typos in books all the time (and it always floors me!) I liked this post - could relate! Thanks for saying what I think a lot of writers feel! But let us both stop worrying about perfection and just have fun with it :)

Betty said...

I had a good laugh at your editing.....I have not tried the Five Minutes Friday....maybe I should and just let the fingers fly and then not edit it and post that would be funny, well probably only to me....I think I will just stick to writing when God says's about all I can handle.

Diane Ronzino said...

Thanks, Pam, for your sharing your heart and encouraging me. It definitely does stop the flow of the creativity by "fixing" as I go along. Sometimes, I forget what I wanted to say so I end up deleting the sentence and sit there...Uummm...???.... i,yi,yi!

I hear your advice and respect it from a seasoned writer. I will give it a try!

Diane Ronzino said...

I chuckled at your comment, Betty. I know what you mean about the inspiration comes!

I'm a little embarrassed that I even wrote that post, as it was all about ME and that's not usually what I write...


Lolita said...

I am in the same boat as you, Diane. Being a Filipino, I tend to write in formal English (grammatical English) for that is what we were taught with in school. I only learn some local expressions through my readings and in watching movies. Therefore when I add comments to post and was typing my heart away in response to the emotion of the moment-caught in the story...... I most often find my mistyped words (with much regrets) after it was posted. Pam could read my typos in my comments...... (laughing).

Because it is too late now, I often apologise in another comment. (But only if I think it would mislead the reader). I wish the blogs are like my Multiply account where the owner of the post can go back and edit away. But blogger is just not the same. So I make a lot of promise to myself to re-read my comment first before hitting ENTER of "PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT." ha ha ha..... to no success most of the time.

BTW, I haven't met "Five Minutes Friday" yet.

Lolita said...

I forgot to say something, Diane. Aw.... another missed thing LOL!

I wish to that there are writers' workshop (an informal one) here where I am.... so that I could hone my writing creativity.... if ever I have one. Then perhaps I could blog away confidently.

Pam said...

You don't ever have to worry about typos in your comments... No need for perfection. I always understand your heart! :)

Lolita said...

Thanks a lot, Pam. My fingers has a funny way of typing things especially that I am used to typing numbers and accounting jargon. For example if I am typing "fun" in my mind.... my fingers would type by itself "fund." That would distort the message. I call my little handicap "dyslexic fingers." It was aggravated after my mild stroke which made my left part of the body with palsy. I did not stop typing when I went back working for it to recover faster. With God's tremendous mercy I am now typing normally except for some typographicals.

Diane Ronzino said...

Lolita, we all understand that English is not your first language. Please do not be uncomfortable about your writing or typos. I make lots of typos! And you write from your loving, beautiful heart that is so open to The LORD - a pure heart!

Even if there are no workshops, just writing improves the quality of our writing. The more we write, the more we improve.

Lolita, I chuckled at your "dexlexic fingers" - I have it of not only my fingers, but my mouth - I speak words backward. For example the actor Clint Eastwood. I call him East Clintwood and it sounds perfectly right to me.

I'm sorry you had a stroke. But, look how The LORD has healed your typing which you need for work and to communicate with us!!! Hallelujah!

Thank you for trusting us to share your life with us!