Writing is mentally stimulating, it's like a puzzle that makes you think all the time.
In all my years I never considered myself a writer. People say "You should write plays." For half a century I acted in plays. And during that time I learned a lot about art and about myself as an artist. One of the most important lessons was about precision of communication. Inexperienced actors, myself once included, I suppose, are more concerned with tearing up the stage with great passion than with getting the story told. I've seen the same approach taken by young musicians. But there comes a time when the artist must stop and ask himself what the play or the music is really about. At that moment it is too easy to face the regret of having spent too much time mangling the material and not much time finding the true poetry within it, the substance that is going to feed the listener and affect his life.
The temptation for a writer (one who is trying to be a writer) is to fill the pages with purple prose and fancy phrases and thus ignore the real power of words. Language is a tool that can move mountains of ignorance, inspire to action and clear the skies of confusion.
"The pen is mightier than the sword." That was written by Edward
Bulwer-Lytton for a play in 1839 and it has since become a classic phrase to describe how the right words clearly stated can topple tyrants and punish villainy.
So what's the big puzzle? I conducted a seminar in public speaking one day and one of the clients talked about the problem of finding the right word to express what he wanted to say. He likened it to going out hunting for a deer and coming back with a squirrel. I have heard actors carelessly destroy the verbiage of playwrights. I did it myself in my early days. Now I know better. I will sometimes spend 5 to 10 minutes, if I have to, trying to find the word, the deer, that is precise and precious, the word that rings, not the one that makes a dull thud. I'm a learner.
Writing, like any art requires living, feeling, thinking, solving the puzzles and doing it every day.
I'm getting a lot of interesting mangled cliches so I'm leaving this quiz up for another weekend.
"A stitch in time is worth two in the bush."
Your assignment is to take two or more grand old sayings, cliches, sage saws or famous quotes and cobble (clobber) them together to make a new and wiser adage or utter nonsense as in the above.
Enter as often as you wish. The decision of the ornery, biased judge is final.
13 entries so far.