Writing Seminar

July 25, 2013

In the growing list of things that are awesome about being at EHC… they are currently hosting a little two-day writing seminar with Dean Merrill. After finishing up the first half of this seminar, there is no doubt that he is qualified to speak on this topic. He is also an effective communicator.

I’m pretty wiped out, after this first day. On one level, this is primarily due to the fact that I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. But on another level, I am feeling very provoked and challenged right now.

As some of you may recall, I “recently” (last April) declared my intentions of writing a book. When the inspiration came, I had a lot of energy and enthusiasm. But every minute that I spent on the project progressively harder and less inspired. I hit several walls and mostly put everything on the back burner.

Today, as we were covering writing basics (like working out the essence of what you are going to write and nailing down who your audience is), I found myself really wrestling with the book again.

I think that I believe, deep down, that I only have one book in me. So anything I might possibly write that even remotely connects to my topic feels like it needs to get crammed into this project. And thus, the essence of my book is lost in a jumble of loosely related ideas. I need to simplify things a bit and stop trying to write about everything at once. That, of course, raises the question of whether or not I will really have enough to say. But a tiny “book” is probably better than saying so much that I don’t end up communicating anything.

I also think that my audience is not who I thought my audience would be. This is undoubtedly causing my constant frustrations in trying to define my audience. I start to define the group for whom I am writing, but the specific faces who come to mind all seem to fall outside the defining boundaries of that group.

The good news is this: the frustrating things that the seminar is forcing me to wrestle through right now are the frustrating things that held up the process before. If nothing else, doing this is pushing me back in the fight to try this again. I think we can call that some pretty good fruit.


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