Writing Tools

Being an Artist, Creative Process, Photography, The Artist Life, Writing

Hi Fiercelings,

I’ve found myself thinking about writing and going back to the basics. Remember highschool? In Oklahoma, it is required that highschool students complete a class on Oklahoma History. So in 9th grade I marched off to a co-op for an Oklahoma History class. The main thing I remember about this classroom was that on the first day the teacher (Let’s call her June) declared how horrible the textbook was but we will use it anyway (digression: great example of why I can’t stand organized institutions – they tolerate mediocrity!). So every week June would heap on in class complaining about what was wrong with the last chapter every week. Seriously! June was quite eccentric. The funny thing was that this was a co-op. To my knowledge, June picked the book. So why she didn’t just find a book she did like is beyond me. Interestingly though, I learned a great nugget of truth about writing in this class. Perhaps because of the peculiarity of my teacher I remembered a few things.

purple plants 58 angle

In this class we had a myriad of writing assignments due every week so I remember quite vividly June writing on the chalk board many times throughout the semester these 3 points when it comes to writing:

  1. Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  2. Tell them.
  3. Tell them what you told them.

Plain and simple this is writing summed up! Of course, June did not come up with this by herself but that was where I first learned it. If you look it up it is most often attributed to Aristotle but I also saw Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs, and Dale Carnegie spins on it. These phrases are used to help spell out how to write and speak publicly. I don’t think this is conclusively what happens in writing nor is it intended to be but it is a framework of where to start. Let’s discuss the points one by one.

The first one: tell them what you are going to tell them. This is your introduction. This is your opening remarks. Hopefully, you will get a thesis statement in there. Ultimately, the goal here is to entice the reader to keep reading by revealing what they’re going to be reading about in a brief way. The second point: Tell them. This is where you expand about what you’re sharing. The details are shared here. This is where you look at whatever you’re writing about from every angle, you answer objections. The third point: Tell them what you told them. Now that you have completed the first two, the last point is a summary of what’s been shared. This is where you wrap up or conclude. Your point or information has been conveyed, therefore nothing else needs to be revealed. You sum up and tell the reader goodbye. If fitting, you challenge the reader in a way relevant to what you have shared.

coffee and notepad

It’s good every so often to remind yourself the fundamentals of writing. To my own surprise and delight I have found this nugget that I learned in school to be a simple way to organize things I want to write about. It’s possible that this is just because I had an eccentric teacher teach it to me but either way this is a useful tool to have in your writing skills. Even if your writing or speaking doesn’t follow this example exactly, it can help you mentally orchestrate where you are on a topic. Our minds can sometimes over complicate something we are trying to explain when in reality it is not that complicated. Use it or don’t!

fiercely,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings

 

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Fearless

Philosophy of Life, Quotes, The Artist Life

Hi fiercelings,

I read this quote a few years ago but I came across it again this morning.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Nelson Mandela

This speaks to me very deeply. For example, I have this blog and I really really enjoy writing. But I am scared to share it with my family! In fact, I told 2 of my 4 sisters that I have a blog and WordPress notified me in the recent past that I hit 50 posts. They weren’t aware that I had a blog! And they were very impressed that I had written as much as I have…I don’t believe I’ve written anything that will necessary last throughout all time but I try very hard to write things that aren’t a waste of time. I shared with one of my sisters that I am scared to link my facebook to my blog because (and this makes no sense) yes I have a blog and yes I want people to read my blog but I am scared that if I share my blog to my friends on facebook people might actually read it. As in, people I know. I love all the people that read my blog and follow it but it’s different having strangers read something and people that actually know you and therefore have opinions about you. A lot of people that know me I feel like have a pre-conceived notion about me and blogging and being a photographer would not match that opinion therefore they will write me off or dismiss me as a creative person and as much as I say I don’t care what people think about me and  as much as I say my manta “be fierce” in my head there is a small part of me that thinks “maybe they’re right.” I love what one of my sister’s told me when I shared this illogical thought process  “a blog doesn’t have to be an academic paper.” she told me. This is mine. And it doesn’t have to be perfect because I am definitely not perfect.

Beach night 071

Back to the Nelson Mandela quote, I love where he says “there’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you” I’ve always felt to a degree that I intimidate people. I’ve always felt that I am misunderstood. But maybe I feel that way because I put on a mask and I don’t be myself fully around people. One of my dearest friends told me that I am “disarmingly intelligent” and to this day that is one of the best compliments I have ever received. To this day I get annoyed if someone compliments how I look or what I’m wearing. Don’t compliment the outside, compliment me. But most people don’t even know how to give a compliment that esteems someone for who they are…

there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you

There is fear involved in fully being yourself, maskless. Why is it that we humans shrink so that we won’t make others insecure? It’s an interesting observation. I fear writing my blog and being a creative and not being heard but I also fear being heard. It’s illogical. I want to be successful, but at the same time I am scared of being successful. “Your playing small does not serve the world.” Playing small does not serve the world. Or yourself for that matter. “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

yellow flower

I just love this so much. It just says to me you are fierce, so be fierce. You are a child of God, He made you to be “brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous!” Be that. Be fearless. This reminds me of the book I read that I shared in a previous post. The thesis of that book was that being creative is deeply spiritual. The Creator created us to be creative, therefore it can be an act of worship to be creative and to make art. It can be a labor of love. It can be our purpose to be creative in whatever capacity that entails for you…which if it is our purpose to be creative wouldn’t that imply to not be creative is sin? Oh dear, I worry I am getting too theological now. Let’s wrap this post up before it dives down more rabbit holes! “We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us…” Yes. That’s reiterating what I just said about the Creative Call, which is a fantastic book if you want to read something about being a creative person. “…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Let your light shine. Break through the fear. As you liberate yourself from your own fear, others will take notice and that will automatically help to liberate others. Gollee, I love this. Be fierce, be fierce, be fierce. Don’t fear. Liberate yourself. As pathetic as it sounds, a way for me to liberate myself from the fear of being brilliantly creative is to share on my personal facebook that I have this blog. Let others read it, their negative opinions be damned.

Bird

I pray that this blog post made sense to you and perhaps in some small way inspired you to pursue being an artist, a creative, whatever it is that you were made to do. I shared in a previous post that I experienced something that said THIS is what I was made to do…and I’m still stepping into that space.

Be fearless,

be fierce,

alexandria

Queen Fierce