In this final of three articles, the first two being “Write to Make Readers Drool: Stock the Pantry” and “Tantalize Readers: Create Tasty Work,” the meal is ready to be prepared and eaten.
Having quality ingredients on hand, choosing a recipe, selecting the right items from the writing idea pantry, and spicing it up with true Self makes for something worth savoring. Even if no one else shows up for dinner, the chef gets to enjoy her creation.
Now, the writer can create this metaphorical meal. In these articles, I have not only shared a few useful techniques, but also I have approached writing on a metaphysical level. I have encouraged writing in the energy of an awakened, conscious human, one who comes to know Self. When this happens, the writer desires to infuse the flavor, aroma, and essence of Self throughout the work, either directly or indirectly. This is what marks great work, whether in writing or any other endeavor.
I let that Self go and flow in my work. I might do another quick brainstorm or directed freewrite to discover my exact intention for my “meal.” Is it a snack, an appetizer, an entree, or dessert? I get to decide based on my intuition and the vision I have for the piece.
Some writers outline. In reality, I rarely outline anything because by the time I have gone through my process, the ideas have been forming and I need to get the words recorded. I always produce my drafts on the computer. I may stop and brainstorm or freewrite again if I get stuck, but usually I write, read it aloud, notice chunks that don’t work and that wander. I start cutting word count — as much as possible.
Cutting words makes for a more powerful, focused impact. Then, for these articles, I copy and paste onto the medium.com format and read it aloud again. I cut and revise some more. I could get very technical here; however, I determined from the start of this series I only wished to share a few helpful techniques and processes, but there is more.
First, I check that my tone and voice confirm my purpose, and then I concern myself with the reader. Thereby, I violate many successful authors’ rules about knowing and writing for the reader as a guide to publishing. I know and write myself into the work, first. Ultimately, I must relate myself to the reader. Then, the reader decides if they wish to relate to me.
This leads me to quickly consider the rhetorical tetrahedron — one extra facet to the rhetorical triangle: ethos (elements and force of self), logos (elements and force of logic structure), pathos (elements and force of audience), kairos (elements and force of opportunity, timeliness). Whether a writer acknowledges and uses these consciously, they are all part of writing. Knowing this structure and their dynamics helps to convey personal truth.
I address ethos inherently in the techniques I have shared. The brainstorming and directed freewrites help to establish the author’s credentials, beliefs, and other forces of self. When I write, I want readers to know the true Me I imbue in my work. That provides what readers really want to know: the authenticity and personal investment. I want them to feel my enthusiasm and excitement.
Logos development provides a rationale, a rhetorical structure that is detectable. Any of these aspects of the rhetorical tetrahedron and how they are emphasized depends on the reason I write. I structure the logic development, accordingly. If it isn’t logical, then I shouldn’t publish it. One way I check for the logic is to see if an outline could be easily constructed on the piece and to see how it sounds when I read it aloud.
Next, pathos occupies me. If I am connecting to myself and expressing my true Self and Spirit, then, I will reach an audience who resonates with the message. As that audience manifests, I will think of their needs, listen to their expressions, read their responses and their work. I want to help others discover Self and create purpose and meaning for themselves and help them to matter. Therefore, I consider their interests and expectations in future pieces. I want my work to be useful to those who have chosen to engage with me. Writing is a mutual relationship.
Kairos concerns the timeliness, the opportunity that exists for publishing at a beneficial time. I want my work to display how I relate to the tastes of society, of the world, and of my audience, specifically. This facet of writing is more significant than ever with the explosion of social media platforms; three days old is history in this age. This aspect of the rhetorical elements is the one that de-emphasizes perfection. Get the work out there at the right time.
Am I always successful as a writer? That depends on how one measures success and what facet of the rhetorical triangle is being used for evaluation. The most beneficial measure lies in the expression of Self and Spirit. I know many technical opinions exist about this, and if I were teaching writing to a class in an academic setting, my presentation would be different.
However, I have focused on producing expressions of Self, ones that are tasty to the author, first of all, and that ensures that some others (the audience that becomes a tribe) will enjoy the writing meal that the author prepares.
Write. Enjoy. Share. (Photo by Todd Ruth on Unsplash)I hope these three articles help you create tasty, appealing pieces of writing that both you and your readers enjoy sharing.
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Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!