Friday, March 13, 2015

New read

I'm reading the The Crafting of the Personal Essay, by Dinty Moore and I've found it enlightening. Some of the things the writer suggests, I already do, but he makes suggestions throughout the book on how to give you ideas for topics, and how to make your work stronger.

One thing he suggests is something that struck home to me. Often when I'm describing a walk, or a visit to some place I've never been, I'll write about the trees, shrubs, or birds in general, but Moore suggest that the writer spend some cycles learning the names of things. Instead of tall pine, it would ge a Loblolly Pine. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail or a Giant Swallowtail.

He said when you study things that interest you, it will open up more ideas for topics.

Moore also says that changing up your routine helps stimulate parts of your brain responsibile for creativity. When I think back, I realize my best work has been when I've tried something new.

I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book, and I'm happy a writer friend recommended it to me.
This is a digitally enhanced, yellow lily.


  1. For a very long time, at least since Seneca --thru Joan Didion, Richard Rodriguez-- the personal essay has been among the most vibrant of literary forms. Your post about Dinty Moore (the writer, not the canned stew --couldn't resist, sorry) suggests some excellent advice in contributing to this lively genre. Especially in this new electronic age, I've seen an interest in essays of all sorts --and even poetry-- that was lacking in the 20th century. I frankly welcome the renewed public enthusiasm in these areas of measured contemplation and self-expression.

  2. Hey, Morning...
    I am interested in improving my writing; but I guess I just write what moves me in any given day. Being descriptive is something I need to work at! I guess that is why having a teacher or proof reading would help so much. But I am also living my dream, by inspiring women to enjoy being homemakers and wives and mothers!
    I appreciate you... And yes- you are a funny guy at times

  3. I'm the idiot of the group...when I saw Dinty Moore, all I could think of was the canned stew they used to sell: "Dinty Moore's Beef Stew."

    Ha ha ha...I just now noticed that Geo said the same thing.

    1. Anonymous12:01 PM

      Add me to your group. I'd never heard of Dinty Moore, the writer, but I'm very familiar with the stew!!

  4. Sounds like good logic. But I had to smile at Loblolly pine. In my child hood there were times when groceries were't always around. My mama could make up names for stuff she made. One thing I loved she called Loblolly, it was sort of a gravy fat flour and water salt and pepper. I loved it.

    It is always good to get a hint of generating good ideas. There alway seems to be that need every few days....

  5. I love the way writers describe things and I always strive to make my words as visual as possible. Unfortunately, I know precious little about trees and plants.

  6. My eyes were drawn to the top middle back of the picture. Isn't that interesting?

  7. It is wonderful when we learn something new because we feel so accomplished. Sounds like a great read

  8. Hi Rick, I had commented this morning and somehow my comment didn't go through so I'm trying again. Sometimes in my rush I forget to click "publish"

    I agree with Dinty Moore. I have found the more I know about a subject, the easier it is to talk about it. I found it to be true in public speaking especially. I also found that I grow when I get out of my comfort zone otherwise I stay the same and get stale. It not only applies to writing but to all facets of life.

    Can yo believe that we are having blizzard condition announced for Sunday!!


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