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Opinion: A primer on how not to write

I write. I suppose you’d call it my retirement hobby. But as far back as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed the brain exercise. I’d like to believe that it drains off calories. Often, especially when I’m stumped, trying to figure out what the next paragraph, sentence, or even word should be, I think that I can feel the pounds rolling off. Like other exercise, sometimes it’s just hard work. Other times, it’s like cycling downhill.

Usually, it’s not painful. But I suppose that there’s an exception to everything. I recently finished writing a book that involves a mass shooting. Banging (pun intended) out the words on my keyboard was mental anguish. It’s hard to explain.

Getting started

I didn’t start out to write a book of this sort. In fact, when I begin writing, I never know where the words are going to take me. In college, I was taught to write an outline before roughing out the first draft of an essay or term paper. I never did. It wasn’t any type of rebellion; it’s just that I can’t work in the prescribed manner. In some way that I can’t explain, the writing directs my mind.

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