photos: Vancouver vendor Spike says not to fear the blank page

Spike's word

Vancouver vendor and writer Gerald 'Spike' Peachey shares some writing tips.

Get on your megaphone

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If you want to achieve the quality of another author’s “best” when you write your first draft, you’re likely going to be disappointed and frustrated with your “behind the scenes.”

Instead, write what feels easy, even if your ideas aren’t fully formed. When I’m not quite sure what I want to communicate, it doesn't matter what I write, as long as I write something.

My go-to tactic for a while has been to type the word “blank” over and over again in a digital document. I eventually get tired of looking at the word “blank” and what I really want to write about emerges.

I also recommend writing out the lyrics to a song. It can be those tangents, especially associated with music, that jump-start your writing process and can be a powerful part of your creative journey.

It is so very important that you take an appropriate amount of time to put your thoughts together in written form. Be good to yourself in that regard. If you don’t give yourself enough time to write, you’re going to feel pressure to write the Most Eloquent Words You Can Think of Right Away. You can afford to spend time “writing what’s easy” when you aren't constrained by a tight deadline. Many powerful writers know that“weird,” "decent,” or “good enough” often precede the “final” versions of their content. They need the time to explore all of them to come up with that final draft.

Don't sweat it when you have made glaring typos... or not. All of your spelling errors and grammatical mistakes are part of the process. Punctuation can be confusing at times and that is normal.

Finally, you may have difficulty navigating awkward phrases. You are not alone. If you are writing about a passion, it almost requires a certain fervour that harbours making mistakes.

You then want to edit any parts that might convolute your point. Keep it within your arena of knowledge, to the best of your ability. Write what you know.

If you follow some of these writing tips, I am willing to venture that you, as well as whomever you might be writing for, will be quite pleased with your finished product.

Gerald “Spike” Peachey is a Megaphone vendor and contributor to the annual Voices of the Street literary anthology and Hope in Shadows calendar. Paula Carlson photo. 

Get on your megaphone

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