Monday, May 24, 2010

A Writer's First Rule by author J. E. Cammon

A Writer's First Rule
by J. E. Cammon

Being a writer, I often think about things to write about. Lately, I've had occassion to think on the writing itself, the act of organizing words into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs, and the phenomena of how all us writers came to the craft differently.
I know one such who is a dream writer. His ideas don't come to him except when his thoughts are suffocated by sleep, then, while his conscious mind is dormant, his unconscious self plays at author. When he wakes, he takes these ideas and writes them down, spinning the ideas like a loom. Sometimes he removes the gossamer fog of sleep, sometimes he doesn't. Another writer I know tends to things as they come to her. Scenes, and sentences, out of her mind and onto the page as they occur in the cinema of her mind. Later, she pieces them together in a puzzle-like tapestry. And of course I write like I write, in purposeful order with shields all around my thoughts, warding the chaos of other stories pushing in for my attention, against an hourglass draining of time.
But for every writer I know, I've met half a dozen others that wanted to be, or used to be, but they allowed something or someone in their life to discourage them. Someone told them how they did things was wrong. But, the amazing thing about writing, I've found, is that there's no wrong way to do it. There are effective methods, strategies, and techniques, trends that flow in and out of popularity, but so long as the words get on the page in an intelligible fashion, who cares how they got there? I would even say that there being so many different kinds of storytellers is why storytelling is such a wonderful method of expression.
So I write this for you, the third kind of writer: not the one that is, or the one that might have been, but the one that could be. You won't be able to please everyone, and I'm personally still on the fence about whether or not one should even try. But if it's in you to write, then don't let a small detail like thinking you're doing it wrong get in the way of that. Someone once told me that "writer's write." I spent two years at a technical college writing short stories around my class notes before I happened upon that nugget of wisdom. Hopefully, you will spend less time figuring that first lesson out. The second lesson was "get it all down before you realize it's rubbish."
But that was my second lesson. It may not be yours, which is another beautiful thing about it all. Of the two friends I mentioned, and myself, once we all learned the first rule, we branched into different directions, ultimately sizing up our own specific hurdles as wordsmiths, and attempting to leap over them. Just something to think about. But don't think about it for too long. There's an empty page out there somewhere hungry for words.
Find more about author J. E. Cammon at

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