The Immature Writer – a reflection

Jim Sliney Jr. – 5/26/17

Every writer wants to write a book, right? Well, I do anyway. I’ve been pondering what book I would write. I’ve read guides, textbooks, taken courses, followed mentors, etc but the only thing I really need to know is…

HOW TO GET THE CONTENTS OF MY THOUGHTS OUT OF THE ABSTRACT FORM AND INTO A CONVENTIONAL OTHERS CAN SHARE IN.


I began writing for pleasure when I was very young. My father was wise enough to instruct me to “save everything”, which, by the way, was more challenging in the 1970s because that meant filling shoe boxes with sheets of paper. Anyway…

I had all my original writing but when I went back to read them…barf! Ugh, so masturbatory and immature. I recognized it as an exercise in taking abstract thoughts and translating them to the page. I just didn’t have a reader. So the writing matched my actual maturity level PLUS the maturity level I wanted it to be.

This is a classic problem with young writers. They are too immature to know their own voice. As children we borrow the voices of others – we mimic, repeat, regurgitate. When I encounter that kind of writing in others, I get a similar unpleasant reaction and conclude, as much as they want it, they don’t yet have their own voice.

I think that’s why I like Editing. As an editor, or as a writing consultant, I help people find their voice.

JJSjr

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