December 28, 2016
1. Where do I start ? Seems to be the inevitable question when you want to commit something to paper, errr, whichever word processing program on whichever platform you’re using… Lets just stick to paper. So, where should someone start writing ? With reading. And that includes all the preparation necessary - research, thinking things through. You don’t just jump into it. Even if it is poetry.
2. The late great Leonard Cohen told an anecdote to a journalist about his first meeting with the luckily still alive Nobel laureate Bob Dylan. If I haven’t read it at a time when I wasn’t wise enough to write (or record, or whatever) everything inspirational down, I would be able to tell it precisely, but here it goes:
At one point during the conversation, Cohen asks Dylan: “How Long Did it take you to write the lyrics for Like A Rolling Stone?” “Five hours!” exclaimed Dylan, coming back with his own question: “And how long did it take you to write Hallelujah?” So Cohen tells the journalist: “I answered, five days. I lied, it took me five years.”
3. My point is simple - everybody has their thinking process, some things take you longer, but you still have to think them through, make a concept, and then commit to words.
Maybe Dylan wasn’t bragging, maybe it really did take him five hours to write down than novel of a song in five hours. But how long did it take him to conceive it ? He had to have a certain experience, acquire a certain knowledge to be able to write it at all, in any time frame.
4. Many people trying to write start sweating out about what title and introduction they should start with. But, these two things, particularly if you are dealing with something like copywriting are probably the last two things you should write down - you have to know precisely what you are dealing with, come to a conclusion and then put down your title, introduction and, of course the punchline. Oh, that is the punchline.
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