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Fieldstones

Since I started blogging over a year ago and I enjoy the intense feeling of liberation it brings forth, I’ve been trying to get better at it. The most helpful book that I’ve read to help me in this personal goal seeking behavior is Jerry Weinberg‘s “Weinberg On Writing – The Fieldstone Method“. Jerry is a well known software consultant who’s spent many years in the trenches and has written over 40 technical books that transcend the disciplines of software and systems engineering.

Jerry’s method is based upon the idea of being diligently aware of, and recording “fieldstones” of personal interest as they serendipitously appear in your consciousness by the grace of god (little “g” on purpose). Since I’ve read that an average of 50,000 thoughts per second (approximately 1 thought every freakin’ 2 seconds!) appear in an individual’s head every day, I figure that 1 or 2 of my thoughts must be helpful in some way to me or others. Thus, I try to, as Jerry recommends, keep paper and pen within striking distance so that I can pull these fieldstones out of the ether and usher them into the physical world. Periodically, I peruse these mostly BS notes and build a fieldstone wall in the form of a blog post that I cast into the wind with the help of wordpress.com.

Here is some of Jerry’s sage, and maybe unconventional, writing advice that resonates with me. Maybe some of it will resonate with you.

Never attempt to write (about) something you don’t care about.

One way for smart people to be happy is to express themselves.

Most of the work is gathering the fieldstones.

The key to effective writing is the human emotional response to the fieldstone. Always be guided by the emotional response (in you).

The secret isn’t in the fieldstone, it’s the response to the stone.

Steal all the words you can. If you steal from one source, it’s plagiarism. If you steal from many, it’s research.

Overabstraction is the number 1 enemy of meaning and understanding.

If you care less about the material after you finish than before you started, then junk it.

Quality is personal.

Gather, then organize.

So what do you think? Ready to start expressing yourself?

  1. Ray
    March 29, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I agree with you and Mr. Weinberg. Though some people like yourself have an easier time of putting your fieldstones into words, I have a harder time. That is why I counter punch. Keep up the good thoughts.

  1. April 9, 2010 at 1:03 am
  2. December 20, 2011 at 1:02 am

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