Just before I began this newsletter, I finished draft eleven of the new book containing the Word of the Day practice and a thirty-day journal.
Thie book is the fruit of the webinars I have hosted during the pandemic. The webinars were about using storytelling to make sense of the world gone mad around us.
We writers understand the world through our writing. The journaling techniques I used were helpful to my students, so I wrote this book to help more people understand their own stories and to make sense of the world around them. This is what we writers do, write and then share our insights with our readers.
The Word of the Day book explains how to become an effective creator by completing one simple exercise daily. This practice has helped me personally by making me more efficient and more confident in my ability to organize material. I will be very excited to share it with all of you shortly.
Working on the book, I noticed that to make useful revisions, I miss things unless I do the following three things.
1. Take a deep breath and actually say statements like, “I am going to improve this five-page section I will be working on.”
2. Print a hard copy, and work on it with a pencil, not a pen. Making red marks on a piece of work is a masochistic and unnecessary form of correction. Never use a red pen; if you can adjust the color when you correct on a computer, do so. The tactile experience of touching paper and pencil makes me literally see the words in a three-dimensional way.
3. Read it to yourself out loud. Just hearing the words will sharpen your editorial skills.
I’m often asked, “How do I know it’s done?”
My answer is always the same: “Keep rereading it until you can’t find anything else to fix. When you can no longer find anything wrong, you decide and say to yourself, “That dish is cooked.” The hardest part of rewriting is often knowing when to stop. Using these guidelines can help.
I look forward to sharing the book soon, and meanwhile, please join me at the next webinar on Wednesday, August 27.
I will also be teaching a section of Writing a Screenplay in Eight Weeks beginning on Tuesday, September 20. It’s an eight-week course, and the cost is $800 and includes free copies of two of my NYU textbooks.
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz