A deadline for an article for a magazine is fast approaching and your 500 word piece is not finished. Worse yet, it’s on a topic that you’re really stuck on.
An editor has really trashed your piece, in your opinion, and changed it into something barely recognizable, and now it’s in print.
A client asked you do to a piece about their homesteading adventure, making sure to include points they had included, and it has to read like they wrote it.
Where is the freedom to write from the heart when you encounter projects like this? Being induced to write in a particular voice or format that is not natural does not seem like writing to me. Of course, who said I was the ultimate authority? In this case just speaking from my heart.
The times I have looked at the “rules” for submitting a piece to a particular magazine or request by a client, immediately put the wall up. As soon as some limitation is in place, originality goes out the window. I have a voice, and simply am unable to imagine not writing freely, without constraints. I’ve done the other and it was an effort, and not a labor of love. There were a lot of words typed out following predetermined formats. No thanks. Not again.
I love to read, and have had the privilege to read some of the classics, many works of fiction, along with those some call “self help” books. Hemingway, Zane Grey, Pearl Buck, James Michener, Isaac Asimov, Napoleon Hill, to name just a few of more than 500 titles by these and others in my digital library. The small books that hold giant truths by the likes of James Allen. Others somewhat obscure, full of mystery by Wallace Wattles. They all have something to say.
Some hide behind pseudonyms and pen names, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, but all have subjects dear to their hearts they want to share with the world. Whether stories of life, incredible challenges, side-splitting humor, or looks into the far future. Accounts produced from minds looking for that freedom to express, expand, motivate and illuminate.
While writing to satisfy others is still called writing, somehow for me this would be the same as a 9 to 5 job compared to the freedom of roaming the expanse of a vast mountain range. One sees walls while another sees all the senses can capture. I’m not sure how that can compare, yet for some perhaps it does.
I love to include photos and even videos with my writing. Facts seem to bear out that images are still worth at least 1000 words. That may be a good experiment, to choose a picture and then see if I can come up with that many.
Then there are the poems to narrate with a musical background. While it may not be a song per se, depending on how you hear it could make the difference. Musical writing, not songs but poems with multiple rhythms.
Here I must confess being influenced by a very popular poet of the ‘60s, by name of Rod McKuen. His works with Anita Kerr and the San Sebastian Strings produced The Earth, The Sky and The Sea albums. Awesome examples of poetry put to music. Since that time I have wanted to do something similar, and have managed to record three so far.
Digital applications today make it possible to do right from home. In case you’ve missed those, here are the links. Clouds, Let’s Go Flying!, and Echo’s In The Present. I make no claims to be a Rod McKuen, it’s just my first attempt at something I felt then, and now, a beautiful way to do poetry.
We still marvel at the power of words to move us in ways delightful, surprising, emotional and joyful. An intimate sharing of my heart, hopefully to touch yours uniquely.