Learning to Write Again

I may have to change that title.  It sounds like I had a stroke and I’m in therapy, learning to write again.  (Spoken by the mom of a boy who had hip surgery at age 4 and had to learn to walk for a 2nd time.  Any question why I’m dreading the thought of more surgery?)

But really, a few times and from different sources, I’ve been referred back to “Techniques of the Selling Writer” by Dwight Swain.  Since I otherwise don’t seem to be getting anywhere anyway, I finally decided it can’t hurt to give it a try.  Actually, a second try.  I tried reading it once, about 10 years ago, and it put me to sleep faster than chloroform. 

My copy arrived yesterday, and what a surprise:  it put me to sleep again.  I slept through 4 innings of the Phillies’ game.  (I hate when that happens, but at least I woke up in time to see Victorino’s game-winning hit.  BTW, VOTE VICTORINO!  www.phillies.com )  But I think this time, I may be in the right frame of mind to absorb what Swain has to say a little better than I was ten years ago.  For one thing, one of the first elements he discusses is feeling, and that struck a chord with me.  I went back to look at where I was stuck in my rewrite of “Worlds Apart” and I realized, the emotion was missing.  What was there was rather dry, almost like a news account of events happening to the characters.  Odd to say that even while the book put me to sleep, it also woke me up. 

I plan to read some more, albeit a bit at a time.  I’d like to stay awake past 9 for a change.   But I also hope that this book will help me to learn to write again.