Good friends are like “good writing” pieces… Both have to cater to the mind. I have a good friend, named Gilbert Johnson, and every now and then he tells me a story and he always preferences it with a statement, “writers write,” and so it goes from there. I realized a good writer must be able to write about any subject and at the same time keep your audience interested. How does one do that?
Like good friends there has to be give and take and if the words both uttered and written –the speaker and the writer– alike have to manage to keep the person or the reader’s interest by using little tricks, such as relating the topic to something in kind. When introducing something new, the writer and speaker need to have a transitory sentence or thought, so the flow is not interrupted.
In getting back to “writers write” I thought I would take certain liberties in my blog to cover subjects that interest me, and it may not be what is of interest to everyone, but the writing does need to be consistent. It is what you do best, says Gilbert, as long as you are writing, you bring into focus your interesting perspectives. While I try to focus on various subject matters, I find that whatever needs to be spoken or thought about becomes the predominant article or issue of the day. Some people write in one perspective, such as a political view and their writing becomes stale and bland because we always know what to expect–the delivery is always the same. Perhaps in cases like this, it is much more interesting to present a thesis statement in the first paragraph and then find at least five ways to defend your point of view. Once I learned this trick from James Mullane, PhD, (Dominican University in San Rafael) for argumentative writing, it opened many doors for me in writing as well as speaking.
Argumentative writing has its purpose in daily writing, as well as oratory speeches, but there are other kinds of writing, as in storytelling, where the writer weaves the story together. The reader hunts for the clues and sometimes the story seems as though it is never totally resolved, just that the reader must infer the meaning. As in storytelling, the drama of the story and details of the scenes and characters are masterfully crafted together and this like good writing carries itself and then it takes on its own flow, which captivates the reader.
And so the same can be said of good friends, they sometimes have to take a stand with you if there is a subject that has to be addressed. Good friends can sit through the worst of it, and they marvel at the relationship as it has weathered so many storms and yet along the way of the journey here we are still to this day, Gilbert and I, are still talking to each other, after 36 years. Good friends pull each other back from the brink of disaster without worrying about what everyone thinks. To write one must take a stand, no matter what others think, just state the facts, write the story complete in itself, and it will stand on its own. To be a good friend and to be a writer is to present thoughts patiently and as a friend or a writer it is your call when it is time to interject a thought to bring your friend or writing piece back into focus.
Good friends who, like good writing, simply exist, they both cater to the mind and go with the flow.
Copyright Helen Holden-Gladsky 2010