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Steven Barnes' Free Writing Class!
When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview , Hem replied, “Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.”
You've heard of freewriting, certainly. At its most basic, it's about forcing your internal editor to stay away while you splash your most raw and unusual thoughts onto the page. In Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insights, and Content (2nd edition, revised & updated), Mark Levy tells how he uses freewriting, not only to loosen up his writing muscles, but to solve business problems of all kinds.
Just as every tree is different but still recognizably a tree, every story is different but contains elements that make it a story.
An alternate title for this post might be, “Things I Think About Writing,” which is to say, these are random snidbits (snippets + tidbits) of beliefs I hold about what it takes to be a writer.