Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Washing those Words Right Out of Your Head

I can't get you out of my head..."Going out of my head....over you." Wily words, I've been writing you in my head, what good does that do?

If you've been trotting around with a head full of words and wondering how to transfer these onto paper, here are a few tips. Good work habits help us get wily words onto paper.

1. Notice. Notice when those words start piling up in your head, forming sentences, paragraphs, and generally starting a mental log jam.

2. Take note. Carry a small note pad with you and jot your flow of ideas down--even if you're in the vegetable aisle.

3. Permission imperfect. Your words on paper don't have to be winsome, just there. Give yourself permission to write something that does not drop in rounded tones from your lips in the same way it did when you entoned these smae words in your mind. Whatever needs to come, will.

4. Structure your delight. Set up a structure for your muse to move through. Decide on a time of day to write and keep your date. The Stoic in you loves the structure. The Romantic in you loves the chance to feel its way. 

5. Work with purpose. Dedicate your work to a purpose higher than yourself.

6.  Useful and Sweet.  Horace's Ars Poetica suggested that poetry [and literature] both teaches and delights, is both "utile et dulce" -- useful and sweet. Wash those words out of your head with sweet smelling shampoo. Use your favorite writing tools. Later, revise to make them useful.

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