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An ABC of Confident Writing

Can an alphabet help you get to the essence of what you’re about?

It seems that way.

I wrote this piece in response to a question from Rosa Say: What Do You Stand For? where she set out her management and personal values in alphabetical form.

It was a challenge I couldn’t resist trying here.  For some reason my muse decided it would also be fun to write it as a poem…

You can read the results here:

An ABC of Confident Writing

A is for audacity, for attention, and remembering to focus it

B is for belief that your words count

C is for clarity, and courage, and confidence

D is for go on, I dare you

E is for essence, the bones of your writing

F is for fear and walking on past it

G is for gratitude and what happens when you write it

H is for heart and the hero’s journey

I is for intention: the fuel of the fire

J is for the journey your writing will take you on

K is for kindness, the core of confidence,

L is for lists and the words that flow from using them

M is for your muse, and remembering to thank her

N is for now, no better time to write

O is for ownership, fully present in your words

P is for power and for purpose, for what writing makes possible

Q is for questions that open up change

R is for rhythm, the flow of your words, it’s for rules and regulations, and knowing when to break them

S is for simplicity and singing your song

T is for trusting in the power of your words

U is for unstoppable, what happens once you start

V is for voice, and knowing how to find it

W is for words, the currency of stories

X is for extra, what you add to the page

Y is for yes, and the courage to say it

Z is for zest, for zing and pizzazz, it’s for zip, and zap, and zigzagging lines, it’s for zinging and zooming and zany old poems

It’s for endings, and last lines, and knowing when to stop.

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  1. Cynthia Schuerr says:

    Hello Joanna,
    I read through it and loved it. So many truths, but then I listened to the audio and found it to be even more enjoyable. I love your accent.
    Enjoy your day,

  2. Lillie Ammann says:

    I enjoyed the poem, Joanna, and appreciate the insights.
    .-= Lillie Ammann´s last blog ..Scripture for the First Friday in Advent =-.

  3. Brad Shorr says:

    Joanna, Thank you for providing a fun start to my Friday. I thought you’d be stuck on “Z”, but you obviously exceeded expectations.
    .-= Brad Shorr´s last blog ..My Essential Blog Post of 2009 =-.

  4. uberVU - social comments says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by PublishingGuru: An ABC of Confident Writing

  5. --Deb says:

    Love it, Joanna-but yours is so perfect, why should I even bother trying this myself? I mean, really … way to kill off the competition. (grin)
    .-= -Deb´s last blog ..Joyful and Jubilant =-.

  6. Lori Hoeck says:

    Thank you for your alphabet of insight and fun! So many gems in there:
    “H is for heart and the hero’s journey” and “S is for simplicity and singing your song.” Love the ending line, too!

    I wonder what was the biggest insight you had while writing and recording it.

    I will add: “T is for teaching with far-reaching words”
    .-= Lori Hoeck´s last blog ..How a family password keeps your kids safer =-.

  7. Paul C says:

    Thanks for initiating some reflection and synthesis for me on the ABC’s of life’s perspectives.
    .-= Paul C´s last blog ..Alphabet of Life Perspectives =-.

  8. Ulla Hennig
    Twitter: ullahe

    this is just wonderful! And I really like your accent! First reading it and then listening to it is a real pleasure!
    .-= Ulla Hennig´s last blog ..New Words and new Meanings =-.

  9. Davina says:

    Joanna! This is outstanding. It gave me chills to listen to your audio of this. Absolutely brilliant!
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Poem #3: Sweet Cheeks =-.

  10. Chase March says:

    That is awesome!

    I would like to share this with my class to help inspire my students to write.

    I should print it out and put it on my wall to inspire me when I hit a snag or a tough spot in my own writing.

    It is brilliant and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Chase March´s last blog ..Rap is Music =-.

  11. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach says:

    Fantastic poem! I’ll have to try that out meself targeted to my niche. Love the creativity!
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..Add your OWN INCREDIBLY inexpensive affiliate program to your WordPress blog! =-.

  12. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @ Cynthia, I’m glad you enjoyed it - I felt it worked better spoken too, and am pleased folk took the time to listen to it. Thank you.

    @ Lillie, I am glad :-)

    @ Brad, well I decided just to break a few rules… easier that way ;-)

    Sorry @__Deb! ;-)

    @ Lori, that is a great addition, thank you! What I learned from doing this? That I am much more confident in my own teaching philosophy than I had previously realised, how important it is to play, experiment and take risks, and, when I was recording, how direct the sense of connection is that I feel with all of you.

    @ Paul, it’s a simple and fun exercise - a great way to reflect. Glad you found it useful too.

    Ah @Ulla, I’m glad you enjoyed listening to me… it does help to hear the real voice as well as the voice we imagine, doesn’t it?

    @ Davina, thanks x

    @ Chase, wow, thank you. It makes me smile broadly to think of these words up on your wall or being shared in a classroom… brilliant, thank you.

    @ Barbara, oh I imagine you could have a lot of fun with this!

  13. Paddy says:

    Here be my ABC
    .-= Paddy´s last blog ..An ABC of periferal thoughts =-.

  14. Barbara the Virtual Coach's Journal - Page 25 says:

    [...] An ABC of Confident Writing | Confident Writing [...]

  15. Leah Pauls says:

    I wanted to comment yesterday, but I’m glad I waited until now. I don’t know how long I labored on that email, rereading and rewriting words to an author whose book editing deal I’m trying to secure. I clicked on “save draft” and returned to your poem:
    “A is for audacity, for attention, and remembering to focus it
    B is for belief that your words count
    C is for clarity, and courage, and confidence
    D is for go on, I dare you”
    Do I dare?
    Click. Send.
    “G is for gratitude and what happens when you write it”
    Thank You Joanna

  16. Carla says:

    Love it! I used to enjoy writing ABC poems on a variety of subjects from food to relationships.

    L = Love what you’re doing.
    T = Timeless

  17. Dianne says:

    How wonderful to hear your lovely voice, Joanna, as well as read your words!

    And such beautiful words … I agree with Lori, I especially love ‘S is for Simplicity and singing your song!’

    S is also for star, because you are! In fact there are lots of S words that make me think of you: supporting, sharing, spirit-spilling, shining, smiles, sunshine … and swans! :o )
    .-= Dianne´s last blog ..Blessings From On Line =-.

  18. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna, this is brilliant. I would add that L is for Learner’s voice. :-) You approach your topics from the learner’s viewpoint, exploring, uncovering and discovering rather than dictating. The result is a brilliant warmth that opens us up to learn and reflect.
    .-= Karen Swim´s last blog ..Why Pretty Good May Be Really Good for Your Business =-.

  19. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @ Paddy - thanks for playing along :-)

    @ Leah, wow… how wonderful to see the power of sharing words in action! Good for you for clicking send :-)

    @ Carla, they’re fun aren’t they? If you’re going to write a poem you might as well love what you’re doing ;-)

    @ Dianne, what can I say… S is for Shucks :-) (Thanks for remembering the swans!)

    @ Karen, thank you. As ever, your comments go one step beyond.