Had to Share

Part of what I am doing during my “sabbatical”–(what a lovely word for break from one thing to concentrate on another) is research, reading, and catching up on my other responsibilities. In my research or eternal quest for knowledge and inspiration, I came across this passage in the book, “Several short sentences about writing” by Verlyn Klinkenborg. On page 14 he wrote:

“A writer’s real work is the endless winnowing of sentences,

The relentless exploration of possibilities,

Line art drawing of cartouche, reading "C...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The effort, over and over again, to see in what you started out to say

The possibility of saying something you didn’t know you could.”

So many times when I write I find myself coming to a realization that I had not consciously come to until the words worked their way from my brain to my fingers to the page. Do you ever find that by winnowing your sentences, getting rid of the parts that do not serve your writing,  you naturally come upon something new?

Bliss is in the magic of discovery. What do you think?

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Published in: on May 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm  Comments (45)  
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  1. To a gardener, that is a perfect way to put it LouAnn ‘winnowing sentences’ So happy you are having a blissful sabbatical :)
    *anna

  2. I think you are very right about this and it is truly bliss when you reconstruct a sentence and add in the perfect word. Its like finding a puzzle piece.

    On another subject. Ha ha… some “sabbatical”. I think writing is to breathing for you. You can’t stop.

    • You are so right about the sabbatical–I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms–you are very “all-seeing”

  3. ‘winnowing’ ~ wondrous word LouAnn :)

  4. I’m. Happy to ser your sabbatical is sporadic 😊 when it comes to writing. I have always used it as a tool to find clarity. There is nothing like the free flow of words which I can later read back to find the truth buried among the cluttered thoughts of my mind. So yes, I do find something new through eliminating the unnecessary.

    • I cannot seem to stay away — eliminating the unnecessary works in more things than writing doesn’t it?

  5. I love this idea- it’s like we’re uncovering something in the process of writing, something we perhaps didn’t even know was there. Thanks for sharing it- it makes me feel inspired to write even when I’m not sure that I have anything to say!

  6. Usually the simplest said is the truest.

    • that is a wonderful sentence you just wrote–short but wise and philisophical all rolled into just a few words

  7. My dearest friend, I have nominated you for The Super Sweet Blogging Award! Congratulations! Please visit this link: transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/super-sweet-blogging-award/

  8. I totally agree. Some thoughts would remain eternally vague and nebulous if I didn’t make myself find exactly the right words to bring them to life… My sabbatical from teaching starts in two months. I am VERY excited.

  9. I do a lot of winnowing, but maybe not enough. :?

  10. There’s a different process that comes out of formulating full sentences that can’t *quite* be replicated in your head (well, at least for me). And I find that writing takes my thoughts and arguments places that I hadn’t quite thought all the way through before I started.

  11. Sometimes I just write and write…..all that comes….and leave it…but more often now I re-read it more than once and try to cut out the ‘chaff’…sometimes repetitive stuff …sometimes just parts that don’t really add to what I’m trying to say…. Diane

  12. I enjoyed the line about relentless possibilities, you just don’t know what is around the corner

    • I am looking for some good stuff around the corner–had enough of the other stuff

  13. “So many times when I write I find myself coming to a realization that I had not consciously come to until the words worked their way from my brain to my fingers to the page.”
    LouAnn, almost verbatim, I said this to my friend today after we walked her garden and made a list of chores to be completed to ready it for a tour next month. She writes, I write, we always end up talking about writing. It’s kinda spooky that you shared this, but I’m so glad you did.

    • Spooky good– remember great minds…..and forget the last part! Another blogger calls it “mind meld”–scary, weird but reassuring in a way that us creative types think alike (lol)

  14. Sometimes, when I’m able to tap that mysterious creative flow of the universe, the words flow out in perfect order. It’s almost like it’s not from ‘me’ so much as I just tapped into something else. Other times, I have to really work a sentence to get the words just right. I edit, edit, edit, and finally come close to what I was trying to say. Still, I’m never satisfied.

    • that means you are a writer then — I love the flow but it does not always come–at times I am stumped mid-sentence, others times my fingers cannot tap fast enough–I do not know the magic trick–just enjoy when it comes easily, work when it does not

  15. This happens to me so many times. I have an idea. I roll it around in my head for a while, then decide to write about it. And then it comes out entirely different than I imagined. I get some of my best work this way and some of my worst.

    • I know what you mean–sometimes something that was such a good idea in your head isn’t on paper–but other times you surprise yourself

  16. It happens very frequently to me. I’ll be writing and then halfway through I realize that my post has veered from the original point to make a different point. Not always sure whether that’s a good thing or just a lack of focus but it’s nice to be able to work something out just by writing and letting words flow (or not flow, depending on my mood).

  17. Can’t speak much since I am not really a “true” writer but what you have written is quite true. A sentence can be reworked until you have either worked it or yourself to death. :-)

    • stop saying you are not a writer–you write, therefore you are a writer :)
      I have reworked a sentence to death then deleted it out of frustration, then tried to get it back–then it comes back in a totally different way

      • Oh, my here we you go again. There are among us some very snobby individuals who will beg to differ from you about who is truly a writer. I have read about it on other blogs so If I one has no formal education and does not write for profit and has not been a blogger for a significant period of time then, I do not qualify ias a wrtiter. Writing and really writing are two different things. I am bad at spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, verb usage, and the list goes on. I might send you a separate email of what one blogger wrote about how some of us are such terrible writers. She hurt one of my dear friends feelings to the point of making her cry. It was not a persaonal attach but we know who we are that are less than stellar as a writer.

        But yes, good writing takes know how and lots of reconstructing. It is exhausting. :-)

      • Anyone who takes someone else to task like that is unsure of themselves and what they do–they make me so angy and quash creativity–ignore them and hopefully your friend will too!

      • Yes, good words of advice. Have you personally read posts of other bloggers who have been critical of how others write?.

      • yes, I have been attacked by the haiku police who kept telling me how to do it right–so I just stopped following them

      • Why the brazen so and so. How can people be so clueless and not realize that this is not the way to “win friends and influence people?”

        I thought that your haiku was good. I don’t write poetry but enjoyed your poems. What does it matter if in someone’s eyes all that one writes is not perfect (in the critics opinion). That is partially the problem with how the world is rocking, currently. Too many critics and not enough nice people. :-)

      • they were brazen so I got rid of them — I keep the good guys–like you–we have to populate the nice people zone

  18. That’s the beauty of editing. It allows a rough, hidden gem to be polished and scrubbed into something sparkly and beautiful. :)

    • and you know how I love sparkly — maybe you don’t, but I think I was a crow in another life

  19. The possibility of saying something you didn’t know you could.”– good reflections today LouAnn. I enjoyed this read very much


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