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What Does It Take to Be a Writer? (My Random Thoughts)

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books. Basically he just loves to write.


How to Write. (The Gospel of Jodah)

It is said that to be a successful writer you need - practice - practice - practice, and that you should try to write something every day. This is great advice but sometimes seems easier said than done.

Apart from the normal rigors of a busy life infringing on the time available for writing you also need to be able to find inspiration and (at least to you) interesting subjects to write about.

The truth is, anyone can be a writer. If you are blessed with even just a basic level of literacy (the ability to read and write) you can be a writer. You don't have to able to spell perfectly or have faultless grammar and punctuation. Hell! You don't even need to know what these words mean. Well to be a professional writer these assets are certainly a big help, but hey, we can't all be and don't strive to be professional. Some of us just write for the pleasure of taking a pen and writing something down on paper (or finger to keyboard), to be creative, to motivate ourselves, to express our love for friends and family.

A lot, if not most, writing is created with an audience in mind and dollar signs swirling around in one's head. We all have to make a living it's true, but that doesn't have to 'be the be all and end all' of why to write. Many of us have 'real' jobs and just need to fit in writing as a hobby in between the 9 to 5 grind, looking after kids or taking them to school, doing housework, maintaining the garden, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping etc etc.

So, it is ok just to take time out occasionally, sit back in your comfiest chair with a cup of coffee and a journal, notebook or maybe iPad, and write. Just for your own recreation and pleasure. Just write random thoughts, anything that springs into your head. Don't even think about who else would like what you are writing or if it will attract a million views on the Internet and make money. Just sit quietly, and write for YOU!


My Way (not Frank Sinatra's)

All 'writers' are different and have their own methods and idiosyncrasies as to how they approach writing.

My way is to sit down at my desk, open my journal/notebook (I have one in almost every room of the house and in the car. You never know when inspiration may hit), pick up a pen and just let words appear. Often what develops totally surprises me.

I love my desk. It is the only part of the house (well apart from my workshop) that I can call 'my own'. I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I sit down in the old antique wooden chair that used to be at my father's desk in the office where he worked. Maybe it's the chair that has some magical powers that possess me when I sit in it..inspiring me to write. Who knows.

Anyway, when I sit down at my desk I usually have no preconceived idea or plan for a topic, or even if I feel like writing poetry, a short story, or article, but miraculously things seem to happen.

Even if I am not 100% happy with what eventuates I rarely throw it in the trash. Often days, weeks, months or even years later I will pull out my old note books or files of drafts and find myself finally inspired to edit and complete some of these unfinished or imperfect musings. The finished results are often remarkable and surprise even me.

This is how quite a few of my articles are created. Some are stories or poems I wrote maybe 20 years ago and had forgotten about. On re-reading them I think, "Hmm, this isn't too bad. I think I can actually rework this story/poem into something readable." Then 'voila', in a few days this old forgotten writing is resurrected into something 'new' or 'current', and I am often blown-away by the wonderful responses I receive from my fellow hubbers and readers.

I am then left to wonder, "Why didn't I finish this off years ago?" Obviously the timing wasn't right and it had to wait until I joined this writing site.

Examples of my reworked stories and poems can be found throughout my articles.

Does anyone else work this way, or is it just me?

My desk

My desk

Everything Happens for a Reason

I believe that anything I am directed to put to paper must have a reason or purpose. Eventually that purpose will be revealed when the time is right. Then I will publish it. Maybe it contains an important message that a particular person needs to read at a chosen time, and God has a purpose for holding it back.

I believe that all things happen for a reason. Sometimes something happens that may disappoint you at the time, but in hindsight turns out to have been a blessing or was postponed for a greater purpose. You may write an article, poem, or story and feel disappointed with the result, even consider disposing of it and writing something else instead. Well, I urge you to pause and just consider for a moment.

Don't Ditch It!

Ok, reflecting on the above, consider that message in regard to your writing. Don't throw any of your work away thinking it is trash or that no one else could relate to it. If you aren't pleased with what you have written, just place it in a drawer or wherever to review it at a later time.

I am a bit of a hoarder I admit, and don't like to throw anything away. I try to find a use for most things and usually succeed. I even have some sketches and drawings that I began years ago but never finished, but put aside until I was inspired to complete them.

I also find it interesting to look back through my old notebooks and writing journals because as soon as I pick up a pen or pencil in the vicinity of paper, I start to doodle. So while writing I am also drawing and my pages are covered in, not just text, but weird sketches of everything imaginable. It's one of the main reasons I prefer to do my drafts on paper rather than the computer.

So, save your work! There will be a right time for it to be seen. There may be a depressed person out there who is ready to give up on life. Your story or poem may convey the perfect inspirational words they need to convince them to give life another go. Your words may actually save a life!

To me, this would be a much better barometer of the success of my writing than making hundreds or thousands of dollars. Imagine being able to say, "My writing turned someone's life around for the better, or stopped them from committing suicide."

Writing and doodling

Writing and doodling

More of the same

More of the same

Persistence Pays Off

I recently checked my email and was excited to find an email that went like this:

"Thank you for your submission to We Go On – A Veteran’s Anthology for Charity. At this time I am thrilled to offer you acceptance for your fiction Story, Just a Humble Hero. Before I can send a contract, I will need your Real Name and Pen Name, as well as an address which is only for contract purposes, but later will use to send you a copy of the anthology. After that, I will send you a contract for non-exclusive rights to publish your submission........Thank You, Kiki"

I have been submitting a large number of poems to competitions and for consideration for publication in journals etc. This was the first short story I have submitted so I was surprised to have it accepted. It just confirms that you should be patient and never give up. Persistence does pay off.


People with Knowledge of Writing

These are just a few of the experienced and qualified hubbers who I'm sure would be only too happy to provide writing advice. Check out their hubs.

Bill Holland (billybuc) : for all writing related advice (bar poetry)

Shauna L Bowling (bravewarrior) : freelance writing advice

Rachel O'Halloran : copyright issues

Marie Flint : punctuation, grammar, poetry

chef-de-jour : poetry and drama

annart : punctuation and grammar


The Wise Ones

There are many writers here who are more qualified than I to instruct you in the art of writing, the correct way to structure a story, to use grammar and punctuation. They can tell you how to develop your characters, or how to write surprise endings for flash fiction. Others can teach you the correct use of rhyme and meter in the many different forms of poetry. Still others are experts on marketing strategies and how to promote your work to generate optimum sales.

I don't claim to be an expert on any of that. What I offer here is just my own humble advice and insight on how I approach writing. I hope you found it interesting, or even better, helpful or inspiring in some way.

Thank you for reading, and I leave you with my last piece of advice; Write from the Heart.

© 2014 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 17, 2016:

Yes, whonu. You are certainly right there, as long as you love what you doing. That's important.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 17, 2016:

Haha Paula. We won't go bear, I mean there.

whonunuwho from United States on October 17, 2016:

I agree with much you have said about writing my friend. When it gets down to the bottom line, anyone is a writer in their own mind. In the minds of others is a different set of qualifications. I guess the main one thing that really counts is that you enjoy what you're doing, regardless of what others may think. whonu

Suzie from Carson City on October 17, 2016:

Ummmm...Nah, it's OK Jodah. But thanks for offering! I'm not that lonely! LOL (I realized that I said "bear" it all when of course it should have been "bare" it all.) Then again, I suppose (bear) might be appropriate depending on how much BODY hair you have! Oh, Yuk. LOL

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 17, 2016:

Shyron, thanks for revisiting and for the great comment. No, you can relax.. That is not how I work :) so get that picture out of your head. I did make a few changes to this hub to try and get it featured again.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 17, 2016:

John, this is fantastic, and so, so true. I know I read this before and remember it being this good and it is just as good the second time around.

I am afraid I too am a saver (preferable to hording) in my library is where most things end up that have been saved for writing, the closet has double doors and is all shelves stacked with boxes filled with writing/drawing stuff.

The comments here are also priceless like the one from Rachel O'Halloran - the guy at his computer in the buff conjures up too many conflicting yet very comical thoughts to write here, but I will say I'm glad it was a cartoon and not a real photograph. I hope it was not representative of how you work, or I will now have a whole new picture in my mind next to the name "Jodah." ugh and lol.

And Paula's comment with reference to the same visual is a real hoot 'ROTFLMAO' when I come across that pic. I will send it to you.

Blessings my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 17, 2016:

Hey Paula, thanks for reading these reshared ramblings. I love your comment, and am still laughing over the last paragraph. Yep, I do need to lose a pound or two...too much sitting at the desk writing. What say I post another nudey pic when I lose a few pounds? :)

Suzie from Carson City on October 17, 2016:

Jodah, I love this piece & am pleased it's been sent around once again. Thank you for sharing your fascinating thoughts on our mutual craft. While I agree with you about each writer's uniqueness, I am impressed with so many of the ways we writers are alike. Many of the habits & rituals we embrace are similar. Anywhere I can turn, it seems I'll find some random writings & old notebooks, stuffed into a drawer or piled on a shelf, covered in dust.

I am often taken aback to review my own writings. I find myself deep in thought, wondering where I was in my life & just what may have inspired me to put down in words what I see before me.

This is a wonderful share, Jodah, very pure and honest~just as you said~ "from the heart." There is no other way to write but to express what comes from within. Bravo.

Oh and thanks for the nudey of you sitting at your desk. You have such courage to bear it all! As a friend though, I'd suggest you lose a pound or two, if you don't mind my saying. I'm sure you wouldn't want that old wooden chair, handed down from your Dad, to collapse beneath you!! Cut back a bit on the home made pastries....:) Peace, Paula

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 02, 2016:

Thank you, Rajan. I appreciate you reading this and for sharing your thoughts. Some of the old drafts and unfinished works resurface years later as pieces I am most proud of.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 02, 2016:

I fully agree when you say "If you can read and write you can be a writer".

Interesting to read you tend to save all your drafts and unfinished work. I too believe there is a time, a right time for everything, and at that time everything falls in place.

I certainly enjoyed reading this hub John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 30, 2016:

Andrea, thank you for reading another of my articles/hubs. It is good to hear your own views on how you approach writing, too.

Andrea Picarelli from Orlando, Florida on July 30, 2016:

I enjoyed reading this article because I do not feel so strange or alone in how I go about writing an article. My articles start with random notes and ideas on paper. Sometimes I wake up and have to write down notes. Sometimes the random notes become an article within days and sometimes it takes weeks or even months. Other times I see a quote that resonates with me and I journal about it and I am so passionate about it that it inspires me to write an article about it. Sometimes I wake up and remember a time in my life and through reflection I discover what I learned from it and I am inspired to write about it. Many times writing is like therapy for me. I love writing as I feel that it allows me to be me and express myself.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 02, 2014:

We all need inspiration at different times Susan. I am glad this article helped you when you needed it. Thanks for reading.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on October 02, 2014:

I appreciate the timely inspiration. Blessings!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2014:

Thank you for reading this hub and for your wonderful comment of your personal writing battle. At times that's what it does feel like being a writer Autumn(love that name). You say that "writing" is your newborn, and yes you have to nurture that child. Just like with a child growing there will be happy times and sad, there will be moments of sheer joy and others of utter frustration (like being rejected). I think you chose the right place to bring your child for nurturing, in Hub Pages. The community here is wonderful and supportive, and most hubbers are happy to help new writers. I am glad this hub inspired you and I hope some of my other hubs can do the same. I look forward to reading more of your work too and watch you developed as a writer. Good luck, and anytime you need help or advice just leave a comment on one of my hubs or send me an email. Always glad to help.

Autumn McNeil from Tucson, Az on September 30, 2014:

This was a very inspirational hub to me personally and I want to thank you for sharing it with everyone. I am new to the writing world and have been applying to write professionally under different online companies. Numerous times, I have jumped through all the hoops only to be told the quality of my work is not what they were looking for. Rejection hurts. I know it happens, and I always prepare myself for it mentally but I always feel the sting afterwords. To find Hubpages was a pleasant find because anyone can write and get help and feedback from other writers. It is like an online community, to help and support each other. It takes a village to raise a child, and right now "writing" is my newborn that I am nurturing to grow into something beautiful. This was very inspiring to read and ponder. Thanks for sharing a great hub!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 15, 2014:

Thanks for reading DealForALiving, glad you enjoyed this hub. I admit I am rather frugal and always reluctant to throw anything away. I often glad years later when I find a long forgotten piece of writing and realise it's better than first thought and can be easily resurrected. Some of my best hubs have come from this.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 15, 2014:

Thanks for the kind words Cris and the personal insight into, how you go about writing as well. Thanks for the votes and share too. Happy flying.

Nick Deal from Earth on September 15, 2014:

I really enjoyed reading this jodah - made me reflect on how I go about writing hubs and how I shouldn't dispose of anything I write, no matter how bad it seems at first.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on September 15, 2014:

I write whenever or wherever the inspiration strikes me. Like you, I also have a notebook everywhere, in my purse, bedside, office, TV room, kitchen, car and literally all over the place to write and doodle (I suck in drawing but I try) even if I am at 37 thousand feet. More often, those creations are only to express my soul and simply for the pleasure of writing and then there are some that are intended for sharing because they need to be shared with the hope to help and even inspire. Thus, I believed in writing from the heart.

Lovely thoughts in this hub and indeed very inspirational. Write on!

Of course, you have my vote(s) and will definitely share the goodness.

Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 04, 2014:

Thank you for such kind words Shyron. It is from encouraging people like you that I get the inspiration to write.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 04, 2014:

John, I am so happy that your hub was chosen for the gold award, you deserve this. You are a fantastic writer, and I very much enjoy reading your work.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 28, 2014:

Truthfornow, I totally agree. You always have to be prepared for when the inspiration hits you. Thanks for reading.

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on August 27, 2014:

I always bring a notebook to different places in case I get inspired. I have even taken notes on my phone when I didn't have anything else. Everyone should write because it is a great way to express yourself and tell your story - everyone has a story!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 27, 2014:

It' always an honour to receive a comment from you Jo. Thanks for your generous words , the share, tweet and vote up. Yes Taidan is doing great. God is good.

Jo_Goldsmith11 on August 27, 2014:

Hello Jodah,

So many things I wish to say here. First, I praise God that your grandson is okay and yes, God was watching over him. :-)

I love the Frank Sinatra song. Of course sometimes it is better to do things God's way. :-) Your beautiful, inspirational article here reflects your writing it by spirit. As always so blessed to read your work.

Shared, tweeted and of course thumbs up! :-)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2014:

Hi savvydating, your words are spot on. I love the "raw diamond" analogy. It fit's perfectly what I was trying to convey. Thank you for reading, leaving such a wonderful comment and the vote up.

Yves on August 26, 2014:

What a lovely, calming article. I loved that you said to save all our work. The last poem I featured here came from two bits of work. Had I not saved them, I might have forgotten them or part of them, anyway.

But more importantly, you remind us to write---even if we don't like what we've written. That makes perfect sense. After all, when we first discover a raw diamond, it isn't "pretty," at all---not until it's finished and polished. Then it shines.....and inspires.

Up & awesome.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2014:

Thank you Audrey, being told that one's writing is inspirational is one of the best comments a writer could wish for. to me that is so much more important than writing for money. If I can inspire just one person by one of my hubs I class that as being a success. thanks for sharing. Blessings back.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on August 26, 2014:

Hi Jodah - You do everything the best writers might do. Keeping a journal with you at all times, even in bed is great for middle of the night inspirations. Also, just writing to see what results is great practice and might turn into an inspirational story or poem. I know Bill Holland just goes to his computer and starts typing. That also sounds amazing. This hub and the way you write is so inspirational. Sharing, Blessings, Audrey

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2014:

Hey Torrs, thanks so much for reading this and for your generous comment. So glad you chased your dream and published on line. Your writing is great and you should be proud of it. Thanks again.

Tori Canonge from North Carolina on August 26, 2014:

Such wise words! I never thought in a million years that my writing would be good enough to publish online, but I decided to chase my dream and I'm so glad I did! You are right - you don't have to be some amazing English major who has only done anything but write for their entire life. In fact, I think some of the best writers are those who draw from personal experiences, like you do.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2014:

Thank you ologs, for your support and for reading this hub, yes he is doing fine.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2014:

Hi dear Faith. No need to apologise, it is so hard to keep up with all the new hubs and to remember if you have replied to everyone. I do appreciate you coming back to this hub and checking though because I always enjoy your comments. Glad you enjoyed this and found it easy to read. Thank you for sharing too. God bless.

ologsinquito from USA on August 26, 2014:

I believe everything happens for a reason as well, and, clearly, God was watching over your little grandson. I'm happy to hear he's okay now.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 26, 2014:

Please forgive the two typos as I could not catch them before they took on this phone.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 26, 2014:

Oops, my apologies, dear John, as I read this excellent write on my lunch about four days ago and thought I commented or meant to comment when I arrived home when I can share! This is such a refreshing take (your rambling thoughts) on writing and so darn relatable. I am in 100 % agreement ...write whatever is in your heart and do not think sbout a targeted audience. Writing from the heart is the way to go and is my motto so to speak. I loved that you have shared your wonderful insight here and your process for writing. I remember reading about you precious grandson. Your choice of imagery is perfect. I love mosaics for that very reason. Up and more and will share for sure once I arrive home as I am on my phone at lunch now. Blessings and keep writing your heart out!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 25, 2014:

You re welcome firstday, that's part of the reason we are here, to help each other. Enjoy your time here.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 25, 2014:

Thank you for such kind words Raine. I din't know if this article would actually be helpful to anyone or just explaining how I write, but the comments gave been very encouraging. I am glad my other hubs have touched you as well.

Rebecca Be from Lincoln, Nebraska on August 25, 2014:

Jodah, I wrote my first article in July. You helped me immensely by pointing out that my comment box was not working on some of them. How funny I wondered why no one commented on my first article which is over a month old. Good thing I enjoyed this article and contacted you. Thanks for everything.

Raine Law Yuen from Cape Town on August 25, 2014:

Interesting hub. Mmmm I think a good writer is someone that can say something with simplicity that which we battle are ourselves thinking but can't quite describe. I think its s someone that truly understands the essence of something and can describe it in a way that cannot be described any better. But then again you seem to be have this well under your belt. Some of your hubs have touched me deeply. Thanks Jodah for such wonderful advice and words.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 25, 2014:

Thank you once again MsDora, it means a lot when someone says that I write from the heart. Apart from my comedy hubs and limericks etc most of my writing is of things that are important to me or I feel strongly about. If you write from the heart you get your message across much more effectively. Glad I convinced you to not discard any of your writing.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 25, 2014:

Jodah, you also wrote this from your heart and I love it. Thanks for the advice not to throw out any writing; sometimes I abandon things and try to find them later. Jodah, you're growing by leaps!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 25, 2014:

Hi Nadine, thank you for your interesting comment. Yes it is always interesting to see how others approach writing on a day to day basis. Glad you enjoyed this, and thanks for sharing.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on August 25, 2014:

It is always great to read how other writers spend there days when it comes to writing. I must say that my writing has changed since Ive joined hubpages. I use to write articles for my website, but today I only post the links from hubpages onto my website and blog. The moment I am in my creative writing mode, meaning when I'm working on my novel, I'm gone..

Time is no more and this period can last a few hours, or just 20 minutes. Love what you wrote about John Lennon. Yes I totally believe that everything happens for a reason, even if we can't look back ( like you did) to confirm this. Awesome hub. Will share.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 25, 2014:

Thank you very much firstday. I appreciate you reading my hubs and for the kind comment. Yes John Lennon was a great man.

Rebecca Be from Lincoln, Nebraska on August 25, 2014:

This is the first of your hubs I have read and I plan to come back for more. You are right on key (pun intended). I love John Lennon too.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 24, 2014:

Thanks Availiasvision for your kind comment. I am glad you can relate to what I have written here. I don't feel alone.. :)

Jennifer Arnett from California on August 24, 2014:

So many great points here about everything happening for a reason, writing for the love of it, and letting the words just come to you. I can relate to all of it. I'm always surprised what comes out of my head, through my hands, and into my computer.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 24, 2014:

Yes david, writers are definitely a diverse lot and what suits one may be totally the wrong approach for another. It is the end result that matters more than the process. As you say we just need to keep practicing. Thanks for the visit and comment.

David Stone from New York City on August 24, 2014:

Writing lifestyles are as individual as the people engaged in them. The important thing is to practice your craft as you hone your voice. Everyone has something to say, but writers make theirs personally distinctive.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on August 23, 2014:

As far as I know the articles will be all moved together, hopefully soon, we can no longer edit them on Squidoo, they have been,(maybe the word I want is frozen) for moving over to HubPages. I have quite a few halloween ones, it would be nice to get them sorted for this years halloween season.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 23, 2014:

Thanks for reading and for your kind comment Elsie. It must have been a terrible shock what happened at Suidoo. I hope you get your motivation back soon, but your first hub about House Plants was a good one, so I don't think you will have too much trouble adapting. Did you get any indication as to how your lenses would move over....a few at a time, all at once...?

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on August 23, 2014:

Great hub. I wish I could get going again writing, I'm at a standstill at the moment after the shock about Squidoo. I managed one the other day as I didn't like seeing my new hub account with nothing in it, since then nothing a complete blank. I think I will leave the writing until my 230 lens are move over here and see what is required to bring them up to the level that is required for Hubs.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 23, 2014:

Thank you for commenting Suzette. Glad you can relate to this as well and appreciate the vote up and share.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on August 23, 2014:

John, great article and I agree with your points and suggestions. I, too, have a journal in nearly every room in the house and always one in my purse. I am struck with inspiration at the craziest times of the day. Sometimes I can't write it down fast enough. LOL! This is great advice for those newbies that are struggling to begin a writing and/or freelance writing career. Voted up+ and shared.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Hi Jackie. I know exactly where you are coming from. What you describe has happened to me. A few months back I pulled out a box of my old books and files filled with rough drafts, short stories and poems I wrote years ago but never did anything with. There were at least two short stories that I couldn't remember writing. I re-read them and thought that they were quite good. I could remember the stories vaguely and they were in my handwriting so I did actually write them. I edited and updated them and made them into hubs. You are right, it was exciting. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on August 22, 2014:

Do you ever write something and just look at it and wonder of you really wrote it? Hope that is not just me but I have and been so thrilled like a little kid with a new toy and I would love to show it to everyone right then! A couple of time it was something not even like something I would write like sci fi like but then that gets into possession and I am not going there! (But you can say if you know what I mean) It is just so exciting to write and feel that way...I hope others feel it too.

Great discussion. ^+

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Thanks for reading FictionFish. Always good to see a new face. No, I haven't really used the doodles as illustrations for my writing though the comments here are making me consider that. The trouble is my doodles don't often relate to the subject of the writing that they accompany. I used to write on post it's but went through too many and they were hard to keep track of :) I have used my drawings to illustrate another hub " Learning to Draw Using the Right Side of Your Brain" however, but not doodles. Take care.

FictionFish on August 22, 2014:

I too have bits and pieces of writings on everything from torn pieces of paper towel to dozens of post it's. I liked the quotes and I may try doodling when writing. Do you ever use the "doodles" as illustrations in your writings? So much to write and so little time.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Hi Jaye. It sounds like we are kindred spirits. I still have more old 'musings' to read through and edit, one in particular but it is very long so I have to see if I can adapt it to suit Hub Pages. Thanks for the vote up.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Hey travmaj. For a time I started writing my hubs directly into word but I found it less enjoyable and motivating. Something about the feel of pen on paper that gets the blood rushing to the brain :) thanks for the kind words about my scrawl and glad you got something out of these ramblings.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Thank you for stopping by sallieanne and for your generous comment. So glad you enjoyed this hub. Thanks also for the vote up.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on August 22, 2014:

John - I'm glad to learn I'm not the only 'saver' who recycles words. My file cabinet 'runneth over', but I can't bear to throw away something I've written which, thought it might not be usable at the time, may be repurposed to good use in the future.

Voted Up++


travmaj from australia on August 22, 2014:

I'm impressed by your thoughts and your interpretation of a writer. Particularly like your note book ideas, I realise I've stopped doing that and I wish I hadn't. I can see how you are motivated by your thoughts and ideas and can adapt them at a later date. Impressed by the artist in you too. Very solid thoughts we can all learn from. Thank you.

sallieannluvslife from Eastern Shore on August 22, 2014:

Not only are you a skilled and thoughtful writer, you are a wonderful artist, as well! Love the hub! Voted up and awesome! :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Haha Ruby. I don't even recall where the donut came from...maybe it came with my father's chair...anyway it is comfy and let's me sit longer than a normal cushion. Glad I gave you a reminder to check your old writing. Thanks for reading and commenting.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Hi MizBejabbers, how nice of you to visit my humble hub. It appears we are soul mates of the pen. I have a desk top computer too but rarely use it now, though I prefer to have the laptop set up at the desk and use like a desk top. I seem to be able to think and write better that way. I hope you do finish some of those hub files you found on your C: drive. I'm sure they'll be worth reading. The stuff you say is total nonsense, why not turn it into limericks..haha. As for letters to friends. I can't remember when I last wrote a letter. I used to actually have 'pen friends' and used to keep ones I received in a box. That was long ago. I miss it.

Ann Carr from SW England on August 22, 2014:

Oh! Thank you very much, John; I'm honoured.


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

It's my pleasure to share this part of my world Audrey. Thanks for finding it interesting enough to read. Oh, I'll never stop practicing and trying to improve my writing.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 22, 2014:

I think i'm going to get a donut for my chair. lol ..I like to bend rules too Jodah, and i think that's ok. My desire to write comes with a vengeance, then i might not want to write for days. I do have some old writings that i will take another look at, thank's for the reminder. I enjoyed your random thoughts....

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on August 22, 2014:

John, I like the passion for writing you have laid out here, and your pics are great, especially the fat guy at the computer. I hope he isn’t one of the men who was arrested recently for downloading things he shouldn’t.

I simply cannot use a laptop for writing. If I can’t get to a “real” computer, my mind doesn’t function. When I started reading your paragraph on how some of your hubs are created, I had to laugh. Are we soulmates of the pen? I was looking at my hub file on my C: drive yesterday and came across several that I started an intro on or made notes on so I could come back and finish later. I had completely forgotten some of them. You asked if others worked this way. I don’t know about others, but I do. But not all my writing has a purpose. Some is total nonsense, but I guess I could say that the purpose was to entertain.

Some of the loveliest writing is in old journals and letters to friends from eras gone by. We don’t seem to care anymore about this beauty in life.

Audrey Howitt from California on August 22, 2014:

I love it when writers reflect on their process. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself with us. And, yes . . .practice . . .practice . . .practice

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Thanks Bill. I almost missed your comment for some reason. Thanks for your kind comment, and it's a pleasure to promote other writers when I can. No need for thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Thanks Bill. I almost missed your comment for some reason. Thanks for your kind comment, and it's a pleasure to promote other writers when I can. No need for thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Hi Flourish, yes I hope he his working on a hub too haha. Good to hear of another old fashioned writer. Thanks for reading and commenting.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 22, 2014:

I do hope the naked guy is writing rather than ahem ... researching his hub ... late at night while the wife sleeps, no doubt. I enjoy both your sense of humor on this one and knowing that others prefer the old fashioned paper and pen and hoarding techniques that I use, too. I love technology but it overwrites my thoughts and sometimes the earlier drafts were better.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 22, 2014:

John, thank you so much for mentioning me. That was kind of you and unexpected...not that I didn't expect you to be kind...oh hell, never mind! LOL Great reflections about our craft, and you would know since you have some serious talent.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Hi Ann. thanks for your comment. Glad we have things in common with the way we work. Oh, I just added your name to the "People with Knowledge of Writing" list. I hope you don't mind.

Ann Carr from SW England on August 22, 2014:

I have a wad of stories stashed away that I occasionally use to revamp for a new story. It's amazing how revisiting a piece can make you realise it's not that bad and act as a catalyst.

Interesting article about how you work; much the same as me really! I often jot things down too; my memory needs a jog! I also agree about timing - those sort of things often do happen for a reason.

Great read, John! Ann

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Thanks Eric, yes you are right there are too many rules...I tend to bend them a little from time to time, so they don't effect my love of writing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Thank you very much Chitrangada. I am glad you enjoyed this hub...yes passion and patience, maybe also - 'persistence'.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 22, 2014:

What you got as a writer is what everyone should want --- to be happy with it. Too many "pros" out there for me. And way too many rules.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 22, 2014:

A very interesting read indeed!

I believe it differs from one writer to another. But few things are common--'Patience and Passion', for example.

I loved the quotes and how you made it all the more relevant by including them just at the right place.

Fine piece of writing and I enjoyed going through. Voted up!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Hi Shauna, thanks for reading. Haha, yes I sit on a donut...very comfy but it needs recovering..a little worse for wear. I have to get my wife onto that. Glad you like my doodles. I have included some of my better drawing in the hub "Learning to Draw Using the Right Side of Your Brain".

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Hi Shauna, thanks for reading. Haha, yes I sit on a donut...very comfy but it needs recovering..a little worse for wear. I have to get my wife onto that. Glad you like my doodles. I have included some of my better drawing in the hub "Learning to Draw Using the Right Side of Your Brain".

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 22, 2014:

It's always interesting to learn other writers' processes and what/how they are inspired.

I love your antique desk. Am I wrong or do you sit on a donut? I do. I wouldn't be able to sit all day if I didn't!

Thanx for the mention, John. You're very kind.

BTW, you're a very talented 'doodler'. You should use some of your drawings in your hubs.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Well Rachael, thank you for that very interesting comment. I am glad you didn't mind me giving you a mention as the expert on copyright. Um....no that nude guy at the computer is not representative of me (I hope) and I usually wear clothes while using the computer..lol. I hope you can get that out of your head when you see hubs from me in future.

Thanks for the praise of my doodles and for the vote up as well as an insight into your routine.

Rachael O'Halloran from United States on August 22, 2014:

First, I must thank you for the very nice mention in your sidebar. What a nice surprise and I am honored to be in such knowledgeable company.

Second, the guy at his computer in the buff conjures up too many conflicting yet very comical thoughts to write here, but I will say I'm glad it was a cartoon and not a real photograph. I hope it was not representative of how you work, or I will now have a whole new picture in my mind next to the name "Jodah." ugh and lol.

You are very artistic and I think your doodling surpasses doodling and should be considered art. This coming from a gal who only can only draw stick men.

We are all writers at heart. It just takes longer for some people to get their thoughts down in writing. If you can tell a story verbally, even if it is repeating what you overheard in public, then you can write a story. It's not important to have perfect writing. Writing is meant to be perfected.

I never throw anything away (hoarding is a bad word!) and I create folders on computer to file away everything because I never know when I will need it. The stuff I find when I'm researching is bookmarked on favorites and sometimes a copy paste into a Word document to keep on my computer with a link keeps me sane when I'm looking for something.

I loved this article and I'm off to catch up on all those I missed while we were on vacation. Voted up and all across the board.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Thank you DDE, yes you are so right. Courage and patience are surely needed.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 22, 2014:

Great words hear from you. Being writer requires patience and courage to put down the true meaningful words.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Thank you for such kind words Phyllis. Your comments are always so supportive and fill me with even greater desire to write. Having my work appreciated and inspire people is my main reason for writing.

I am glad this had that effect on you. Thanks for all the vote ups and share my friend.

All the best.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on August 22, 2014:

Oh, yes! Like you, I also believe there is a reason for everything.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on August 22, 2014:

Up, U, A, I and H+

Jodah, you just keep getting me wrapped up in your words, where I can always relate, learn and marvel at your wondrous and creative mind. I am much like you with the journals all over the place, love of my desk and chair, finding old writings I can revive and finish, doodling - omgosh! the doodling!

I so enjoyed reading this hub and thank you for bringing me back out of a place I got lost in where writing was far from my mind. I am now back in balance, thank you, dear friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Thanks Sujaya.

sujaya venkatesh on August 22, 2014:

good Jo

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2014:

Great comment Frank...yep those three just about cover it. Haha glad you like the fat guy..yeah probably not writing. Maybe playing Candy Crush Saga or something...lol. Thanks for being the first to comment.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on August 22, 2014:

So what does it take to be a writer?

You need three things: PASSION, PRACTICE, and STUDY... I think that's 3 possible ingredients you'll need to be a writer.. Yes?.. your writing Jodah covers.. passion, practice.. and study so it has the elements to all the rules... voted useful my friend and I love the fat guy on the comp.. I bet he's not writing LOL

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