Monday, June 28, 2010

Words I don't know and other writing woes

Writing is an entire language of its own. There's beauty to be found in a few written phrases over the cacophony of spoken word. However, I'm not a phenomenal writer despite a short, illustrious and unpaid career as a blog writer. Oh the trailblazers who write for free. However, I dream of a world outside the electronic realm of publishing. I long for a collection of words bounded and printed on the deceased flesh of a dozen bleached and pressed infant trees. I want to cherish my name which has been carefully crafted upon the binding which contains stories of the past all contained in the comfort of thinly sliced bark that I ordered to be slaughtered. Yes, a relic of my upbringing, I dream of writing a book. Realistically, to receive the recognition required for a ragamuffin of my rank, I must resolve to remedy and remove reins that restrain my resounding rapport for writing about the past. That last verb counts too, right?

See? There's the problem. I get going and then I unexpectedly run into a wall. Call it a lack of functioning vocabulary but sometimes I'm searching for a word that just might not be in my head. I try not to let it get me down but it's frustrating to find myself recycling the same words. Thankfully, I seem to have some obtainable options.

There's lots of good tips out there but what I hear most from writers that I personally respect is two major tips 1) just write and 2) keep good footnotes. DailyWritingTips also has a great  many resources written in layman's terms that any writer person would benefit from. Tips include basics that I should remember but don't like how  to properly write numbers and what does [sic] mean to middle-of-the-road problems like redundancies  and even a great Latin  prefix and suffix primer for those that care.

To be a better reader, I take notes and write all over my books when I read. I underline with a pencil, write references and questions in the side margin and occasionally write a few cuss words in the header. From time to time, I come across words or events that I don't recognize. In which case, I flip to the front page before the title and make a note if the page and title of the event. Therefore, most of my books have really ugly inside cover pages. I also write down any new words in English that I am unfamiliar with or, more commonly, that I've heard, I kind of understand but would be hard pressed to produce on my own in my own work. I am a little hesitant to admit the following words but I suppose we all have room for improvement; that's just what I'm telling myself when I feel your judgmental stare at the screen. The following list is from the insides of as many books I can find laying around:

persona non grata
mea culpa
ad valorem
and my personal favorite out of the bunch: verisimilitude

First step: find an opportunity to use gauche in a sentence.
Next step: look up "gauche" in the dictionary.


Galinaros said...

It seems to me that you already have two important factors in writing well: patience and a desire to improve. ^^

I could learn a thing or two from you. From my perspective, you're doing quite well.

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