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Hi. I’m TJ, and I’m volunteering to be your creative writing coach on my new podcast, “Get the Words Out”.  Yeah, well because slapping yourself on the back of your head doesn’t help at all, and it hurts a little bit.

My primary focus is going to be on the task of creation in the craft of writing. Writing is a craft. You’ve probably heard that before.

Is this podcast for you?

Being a better creative writer is not just for story tellers. If you become more confident of your own writing process, you’ll do better with business presentations, proposal writing, your blog, or maybe just the marketing and advertising for your own business.

When I’m online, I find repeated questions from different writers, such as…

How do I get started writing?

Where do the best ideas come from?

Is my character okay?

Is my plot too close to another plot?

How much setting is enough?

When do I rewrite?

How do I find my voice?

 

These writers are new to writing, insecure, or just blocked. I’m trying to provide answers to these questions in my podcast.

Some of the topics I’ll be covering include:

Writing as a craft - what does that even mean?

Is it better to use a pen and paper, or something digital?

How to read or watch movies analytically

Journaling

Dialog issues

word counts

And, anything that keeps writers from being productive. Everything I can find that will help writers be creative.

Unlike all of the other arts subjects, writing seems to be all about the drudgery of the rules. Any language seems to have the same problems. Don’t dangle your participles. Don’t split your infinitives. Spell things right. Use proper grammar. Creativity is assumed, or worse, derided or obscured. There are precious few courses anywhere on this planet that actually teach creativity outside of the collegiate or university systems. When a student learns only rules, they are inhibited from being creative because of the instant judgment of having infringed some writing etiquette somewhere. This means a lot of potential writers are boxed into a world of rules, unable to write anything creatively, and others find creativity tantalizingly near at hand but unreachable. They can’t get the words out.

I’ve been writing creatively since I could sign my name. All my life, there were no classes in creative writing until my college years. Even if you as a frustrated writer found a creative writing class, that class might not have helped you much in the long run. I’ve thought long and hard about the creative process over the years. Creativity is something I’m fairly handy with. No, I don’t have anything published. The lack of published titles only says that I don’t finish what I’ve started before starting another project. Once I know how the ending works out, I really don’t have much energy to keep working on the story. The puzzle, being solved, goes back up on the shelf to finish on another day that doesn’t come.

Speaking of puzzles, why is creative writing so challenging?

In grade school, they passed out crayons or paints and creativity was assumed. They passed out globs of clay, finger paints, water colors - and the teachers knew that we would do something creative. They didn’t give us too many rules, just a bit of chaotic fun and then cleaning up after.

Isn’t that just the opposite of any kind of writing class, English class, and probably language classes anywhere on the planet. Teachers still assume creativity. Unless you’ve been blessed to have a really good creative writing teacher at the college or university level, like I did. Teachers teach the rules, not how to be creative. Just the rules. The problem being that the rules are taught in endless hours of diagramming sentences and trying bravely not to dangle your participles. Learning rules without finding your own boundaries for yourself.

The problem is not generational, or restricted to just English writers. Creativity - or problems with it - is global. I hope that this podcast can help kickstart a new generation of great writers!

I’m not going to be talking about spelling, grammar, punctuation, fonts, margins, publishing formats, or other traditional ‘writing’ topics. I might rant about Harvard commas, semi colons, and misdirected sentences, but I’m going to concentrate on story elements and expressing your ideas - getting the words out - getting the story out first and editing later. I teach that it’s helpful to draw a clear line between creative writing, and all editing impulses.

I don’t have any teaching credentials. Some of the material I’m planning to share comes from college level courses that I’ve attended, and some of my thoughts are probably not a part of any formal curriculum.

Thanks for checking me out!

If you decide to be my patron, I’m pledging that I’ll post unique content here - perhaps book reviews, author interviews, and maybe some topical deep dives and discussions and additional writing prompts for you to try.  I’ll need to improve my setup some to do interviews and whatnot. I’d also like to do some giveaways and find ways to make this more of a conversation. I’m going to take subjects or questions from my patrons, and see what I can do to help.

I have a day job, so I’m going to be working on this in my free time, nights and weekends. So I think I’ll stay with a simple subscription model. Okay?

Get the words out!

I’m tjpontz - @tjpontz on twitter. You’ll find a list of podcast topics as I do each episode, and maybe more fun things as time goes by, at tjpontz.com Please listen to a few episodes, and share this podcast with your fellow writers.

 

So keep writing, scribblers. Talk at you next time. Thank you!

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