You were designed to understand language and communicate. You were designed to share your story with others…and to be willing to hear or read theirs. Words are awesome gifts from God. Each time you write down your thoughts and share them, it’s an opportunity for someone else to know something they didn’t know before. Your thoughts become shaped images on a piece of paper or a screen. Those shaped images, when read by someone else, become thoughts again. Is that ultra-cool or what?! But just because you’re born with the innate ability to communicate doesn’t mean you’re gonna be an accomplished author. Far from it. You have to learn letters, sentences, and how to convey them into cohesive passages. Would you like to know how to write a better way? Keep reading…
Here’s the secret to becoming a better writer and it’s a much better way to do it than reading any manual you’ll ever find. Ready?
Yep. That’s it. If you wanna know how to write a better way…write. And write. And write some more. I know, from personal experience, just how awful you can write when you first start out. I began to write…seriously write…in the 11th grade in high school. It was on a whim at first. I wanted to catch the eye of a girl (so typical of a red-blooded American boy, eh?) and I wrote her a funny poem. Don’t even remember what it was. But…
…she actually liked it. Bingo! I was onto something. I didn’t have sports to fall back on in school, so I couldn’t win a girl’s heart by catching a touchdown pass or hitting a home run. But I could write. And I could sing. So…I wrote. And I sang. Like nobody’s business. I wrote every time I could find spare time. And that was when I wasn’t singing and practicing for my next vocal competition.
As I look back on things I wrote, way back then, I see just how awful they actually were. My meter and tempo were off. My rhymes were more of the what I call “vicinity rhymes” than I prefer now. And so many of my poems were based on dark, serious themes. I think I thought if I wrote them that way, I could be taken as a serious writer. Yeesh. What nonsense. But it proves my point. If you wanna know how to write a better way, write. And keep writing. And I did. I write almost every single day of my life, and I have been for many, many years now. I’m not as good as I’d like to be…in fact, I may never get there. But I’m far better than I ever was before. And I thank God for helping me to stick with it because He makes “all things new“.
Today, I’m sharing an example of a poem I wrote back in 1974 that I don’t think is good.
Duke of the Dungeon
They set you on the point of a western star.
I watched you all the time, but you seemed so far away.
You’re the Duke of the Dungeon
With chains in your hand.
The lamplight may catch you beat someone
Till they cannot stand.
Mercy on me
I’m too young to be killed.
Please put down your chains
Lest my beating heart be stilled.
I shudder to think of
The death that you’ve brought.
Oh, Duke of the Dungeon…
The devil will see you rot.
And the devil…
Is he really so insane?
After all, who else
Could live inside your brain?
You’re certainly no angel.
Yes, I’ll tell this to your face.
If I died saying it,
I would bring me no disgrace.
Yes, they made a mistake
Sticking you on that star.
Strike me with your rusty chains.
Forever isn’t all that far.
© 1974 Tony Funderburk