Over the years, I have discovered that voice is not the same as writing style. I have also blogged here about the importance of discovering your writing style. This should provide you quite a few hints about how you can write at your most optimal.
Every year around this time, I start thinking about my goals and priorities for 2010 in all parts of my life. Since this blog is devoted mostly to writing, I will share my writing goals for 2010 below. Before I do that though I want to focus on why it is important to set goals and to express and share what these are to someone else and not just keep them to yourself.
For a long time, psychologists have said that the practise of writing down your goals on paper and having them visible so that you could refer to them often can really help you to accomplish them. Apparently, this visual representation of your goals helps remind you that these are things that you said that you would accomplish.
If you write a book, you are going to be monk-like sequestered, but the comparison goes deeper than just the physicality the two endeavours share. Faith means not worrying. That is what can be called a fearless, focussed writer. If you write, at some point, you give yourself over to the process. You let the book write you.
Coulehan and Block’s book, The Medical Interview: Mastering Skills for Clinical Practice, is a wonderfully crafted instructional guide on the art and science of how to conduct a medical interview. It is primarily written for medical students who are just beginning their professional interaction with patients. However, it is also designed to serve as a resource for those who are further along in their education. This book is a complete and concise guide to teach the medical student how to perform the most important source of diagnostic information. The authors believe that seventy to eighty percent of all relevant data are derived from the medical interview. The hidden medical curriculum says that real medicine is based solely on objective data (such as numbers, graphs, and images) while subjective information (such as the patient’s story) lacks value because it lacks quantification. In other words, what patients feel, the suffering they experience, and the disability that haunts them are secondary in importance to physiologic quantities that can be directly observed. Thus, most of the clinician’s energy is devoted to tracking down and treating organ-based disease with little energy left over for the personal, social, cultural or spiritual dimensions of illness. The authors are hoping to convince medical professionals of the importance of nonquantifiable material to diagnose and treat a patient.
In order to develop a healthy and enjoyable writing life, we must all learn to curb our habit of negative self-talk before, during and after our writing sessions. Negative self-talk is all of those negative things that we tell ourselves over and over. Negative self-talk can create a lack of confidence and lead to procrastination, or even writer’s block.
Developing habits of the mind as a writer can mean the difference between getting the writing we set out to do done or not. Habits of the mind are central to overcoming endless distractions and what could become a habit of procrastinating that can produce a bout of writer’s block.
Cancer is becoming an epidemic in young Western patients, especially cancer of the breast, colon and prostate. A substantial volume of literature now connects certain types certain types of personalities and lifestyles, and the development of cancer. It is proposed that each individual harbours dormant cancer cells that, given proper psychological and physical conditions, become active. Also, Western culture is often hurried and stressful.
I was reminded of how writing requires discipline by one of my writing friends who called me the other day and was complaining that she hasn’t written anything for weeks because she was too busy to simply sit down and write. She was the inspiration for this blog because I think that so many writers are in this boat. We feel pressured to do so many different things in a day, but usually writing isn’t one of them. And that is okay unless you consider yourself to be a writer.
Does your child feel achy and unable to get him/herself out of bed when (s)he wakes up? Do you wonder why your child can’t get going while his/her brothers and sisters are dashing out of bed and out of the door in half the time that it takes your arthritic child? Does your child have swollen joints and sometimes have pain in his/her joints?