I'm trying to catch a snake.

That’s what it feels like when I’m struggling to write a paragraph and I know what I want it to say, but I can’t make it say it, or not the way I want. When I think I’ve found a phrase that gets the point across succinctly and with impact, I type it out and it’s not right, like I’m chasing the snake and it slithers out of my grasp. I had it at the beginning, but by the end, it’s gone.

I never delete anything until I’m satisfied with a finished product (well, first-draft worthy product) because I might look at it again and realize it, or parts of it, were right after all. This particular paragraph had twelve lines before I settled, which reduced it to four. Then I was on another one, same deal, and suddenly it snapped together like Lego. I can’t believe I came up with that!

Writing is, indeed a mysterious process. While there are rules, and basics, what it comes down to ultimately, is…“Does this convey what I feel?”

In other words, will the reader, down the road, feel or see the same thing I feel or see right now, as I’m writing this?

The greatest payoff is when it works, and you know you’ve made that connection through time and space with mere black squiggles on paper.

Writing is awesome.

Write in shorter sentences. Give each aspect of your idea its own sentence. Don’t contort your entire idea into one long sentence. Concerned with fragmenting your discourse? Don’t be. Keep each short sentence in a single paragaph. Your idea will remain coherent.

Writing is not like catching a snake. It’s like building a Lego house. We don’t use one giant brick and warp it into a house shape. That’s too much effort. We use many small bricks. Laid out with precision, we make a house with less effort. Looks better too.

Write in short sentences. Like this.

Always be aware of the sentence’s head.

What’s that mean?