Creating Specific Categories and Inventing Good versus Bad Faith Stories


I can’t even begin to say how enthusiastic I am right now. I’ve really taken this book writing plan to serious new heights. Each day, as I’m waking up so early, I usually plop down for 2 – 3 hours of straight, uninterrupted writing time. I have found that the biggest complaint I have is not necessarily lack of time, but constant interruptions.

I actually have plenty of time during the day to write, but having two daughters who constantly crave food and have questions about distance learning or just start talking loudly among themselves is all a series of interruptions that I just can’t handle. (Cue Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.)

Instead, even if I have a short amount of time each morning, I feel like I’m making the most of my resources by whipping through a lot of things at once. I’m loving my process of stream-of-consciousness-style writing that allows me to simply write what I want in extreme rapid-fire mode. I’m writing based on memory and emotion, capturing what I want at the moment I want it. The point is to get everything down and complete my logical thoughts.

As I’ve started working on the individual faith stories in my book, I started noticing that not everything is doom and gloom in what I’m writing about. If my original premise was to capture all the horrible things that happened to me and then complete the picture by tying a pretty bow of faith at the end, I’ve already changed that. I was so happy and surprised I started off my process incorporating a few positive stories that brought about faith, thereby adding some interesting dimensions to my book.

For the time being, I’ve begun separating my individual faith stories into two separate sections – – the poopie stories and the pleasant stories. But won’t people raise their eyebrows in derision, confusion, or both? Maybe, but I can tell you my authentic voice runs clear throughout the entire book. Make no bones about whose voice you’re hearing (reading) throughout the whole thing. It’s definitely me.

I’m very, very, very particular about the word choices I make when I write, though not so much when I speak. I’ve always known this difference about me. I don’t know why, but I simply do not sound nearly as erudite when I speak out loud as I do when I write. When I write, words come to me easily. I never stress or strain or struggle, though I might be a bit unsure of how to use a word properly and I’ll often check myself with online dictionaries.

If I choose to use the word “poopie” over something else, I guarantee you, it is because I intended it that way. For me, and hopefully for other serious writers, language is a deliberate thing that carries meaning. You’re not just going to bake any old stupid cake because you’re bored. You’re going to add the finest ingredients using quality vanilla, cake flour, sugar, and likely organic eggs. You’ll also use appropriate tools including real spatulas and stand mixers to complete your goals.

Writing is the very same way as it is in baking. Writers, like bakers, must use appropriate and quality ingredients and tools each and every time we write. For me, that means studying words and learning how to filter vocabulary to meet my needs. I love the word poopie because it softens the blow of anything that is meant to be harsh.

If I really wanted to go with gusto, I would use straight up S—-, but so many people already use that as an expletive. I don’t feel like joining that party. Poopie serves my purposes precisely and helps me write about really bad things that happened to me in a somewhat lighthearted, less menacing way.

Here’s a snapshot of my categories, by the way. You’ll see there’s some sort of shaping coming along, though none of this is the final product just yet. I still have a ways to go before seeing this book come to fruition, but I’m happy as molasses to finally be doing it!

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