Pen to Paper Newsletter

Pen to Paper: Simplicity (P23)

Presented below is a thought from me on writing, a quote from someone else on writing, an excerpt from that writer, and a discipline/habit to implement… 

We will be focusing on simplicity today.

A Thought

“Maintaining a delicate balance of simplicity and complexity in your songs, stories, or art pieces is both challenging and incredibly rewarding. It allows your audience to comprehend and appreciate your work while still leaving them in awe.”

– Austin Alford

A Quote

“To conclude–you must translate every bit of your [subject matter] into the vernacular. This is very troublesome and it means you can say very little in half an hour, but it is essential. It is also of the greatest service to your own thought. I have come to the conviction that if you cannot translate your thoughts into uneducated language, then your thoughts are confused. Power to translate is the test of having really understood one’s own meaning.”

– C.S Lewis

An Excerpt

An excerpt from the The Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis

You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room. All the healthy and outgoing activities which we want him to avoid can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that at last he may say, as one of my own patients said on his arrival down here, “I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked”.

The Christians describe the Enemy as one “without whom Nothing is strong”. And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off.

You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing.

Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,

Your affectionate uncle

A Discipline/Habit to Implement

A challenge I currently face in my writing is how to create lyrics and stories that are both appealing and comprehensible to an 8th grader, while still incorporating the complexities that can captivate a young adult.

After we feel like we have finished something, let’s ask the question: would this make sense if I was an 8th grader? 

If so, we are on the right track! 

Put Pen to Paper this week and have fun!

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