Here’s a Handful of M&Ms

Writing is like an all day sucker sometimes; just not worth the effort and time for sticky lips. But other times, writing is itself a sweet reward. Most of the time, though, it is a must-do item on our list that evokes a lot of anxiety about how to start, how to get through it, how to do this, then that, and get it done! I am going to take a few lessons from my book, KISS Keep It Short and Simple, to use as “M & Ms—The Mechanics and Magic of Writing” to illustrate how a few simple techniques can make alchemy happen.

The computer has redefined how to write a paper, both in content and mechanics, as the internet has given unlimited resources for the writer and word processing has eliminated a host of difficulties, such as formatting and spell checking. While that is a wonderful thing for all writers of all ages, the authors, students, professionals and non-professionals alike, most of us have angst when it comes to actually putting ideas into an organized presentation. Texting and tweeting has destructured the sentence, and with emoticons, has fragmented thoughts into information of bits and bytes, making it even harder to organize and compile a composition.

But therein lies the beauty of writing: chaos. From all those swirling ideas, associations form from clustering ideas, memories, and sensory perceptions into coherency. This is layering—write! doodle! play with it! and soon a theme emerges. When it pops! and it will, you then can arrange these elements into the topic of your paper. The beginning of the paper states intent; the middle is explanatory; the last is summation.

The critical difference in a composition, such as a business letter, essay or review, and social media posts, is a complete sentence. As you see the theme take shape, begin to organize it into paragraphs, using the CCI: Compare, Contrast and Interrelate technique. Remember, the rule of three (at the least): each sentence has a noun, verb and adverb; three sentences in a paragraph, three paragraphs for a composition.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Grab some chocolate goodies, put on your wizard’s hat and write!